Letters to the Editor and More Season's Greetings!
From: Bruce Donnelly, Dimboola, VIC

I help a mate out during harvest here in Dimboola, and I do the Santa thing for the town each year and these pics were taken last Christmas.

The best one is at the quarantine checkpoint on the South Australian / Western Australian border. The quarantine checkers had just finished ripping into the previous driver and she came over to my vehicle and was writing down my car rego and she looked up, threw her paperwork on the ground and yelled, “Santa’s here!” 

They said it’s the first time Santa has visited the quarantine checkpoint. It’s approximately 1,650 kilometres from home. I can tell you that it was bloody hot.
Fred & Kathy Moores, Frankford, ON
Best wishes to all movers around the world.  Kathy and I hope you have a Safe and healthy holiday season. 
Stephen & Kamini Smith, Reading, Berkshire
We wish all of our Movements family a very good Christmas and a prosperous new year.
Paul Kavanagh, Ramsgate, Kent
Wishing all the movements fraternity a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year in these trying times.
Fritz von Kaitz, Edmonton, AB
I would like to wish all Movers, whether deployed or at home with their families, a very healthy, happy and safe Christmas.  All the best in 2021.
Nige Cameron, Mansfield, Derbyshire
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Eddie & Gill Mottram, Reading, Berkshire
Gill & I would like to wish you and all Movers and ex Movers everywhere a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Stay safe everyone.
Ray and Sue Ralph, Swindon, Wilts
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and hope you all continue to Stay Safe. Lets look forward to 2021 and hope it really is a 'Happy New Year'.
Kevin & Bev Laing, Redcar, North Yorks
We both would like to wish all movers, past and present, near & far, a Very Merry Xmas.
Rick "Dibs" Loveridge, Brough, East Yorkshire
Very best wishes to all. Its been an unbelievable year. Let's hope for a better 2021.
Ken Davie, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

To all of my fellow movers wherever you may be around the World. Thanks first of all to the wonderful Tony Gale up there in cold old Gatineau, who brought us all together a few years ago and rekindled old friendships that would never have happened without him. I was in UKMAMS India team with PO Wiblin. The mental scars are still there after 50 years. What a character!

A very happy Hanukkah to all of our Jewish friends out there. If Rocky Knowles is listening, please forgive me for offering you bacon-flavored crisps on one of our jobs! (Rocky actually LOVED bacon!)

A very Merry Christmas to everyone else. I saw a Christmas sign the other day that shows Santa peeing on a large 2020 sign. Could anything be more true than that? What a miserable year. However, the vaccine is here and we can go into 2021 with a better outlook. I hope that this finds each and every one of you and yours happy and most of all healthy. I also hope that Santa brings you everything you want.
Gary Davies, Derry Hill, Wilts
Have a wonderful and thoughtful Christmas whilst staying composed and alert. Staying safe is easy to us ex-service men and women as we have the self discipline that is needed in these dreadful times. I am certainly looking forward to 2021. (India team, 1975 to 1978.)
Roger Blow, Crown Point, IN
I wish all movers, wherever they may be, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope 2021 treats you better than 2020. Stay safe.
Steve Broadhurst, Brighton East, VIC
I would like to send to all of the Movement Family best wishes & sincere hopes that we can enjoy something like a “normal Christmas” after all the upheavals, restrictions and sadness of 2020.
Murray & Joan Jacklin, Surrey, BC
While we all are trying to make the best of this year amidst the corona virus, and for many families not being able to get together to celebrate the festivities, we would like to wish all movers wherever you might be a Very Merry Christmas and a healthy safe New Year. 
Bob Tring, Wantage, Oxon
Have a good happy & safe Christmas and New Year. Keep well keep safe. Best wishes to all!
Mike Day, Carterton, Oxon
I do wish every one A Happy Xmas but mind had been on other matters like a visit to the Chemo Suite in the hospital!
Ken (The Hustler) Browne, Fleet, Hants
“My best wishes to all our fellow movers and their families. I am still in touch with quite a few of you (it's now 48yrs since I left the clan). I hope we all get safely though these terrible times”.
Brian Stein, Stonewall, MB
Happy holidays to all may 2021 be better and safer for all.
David Powell, Princes Risborough, Bucks

Hi Tony and all fellow movers, their families and friends.  Wishing you all a very happy and successful 2021.  As a certain song goes: "Things can only get better!" (Can't they?  Please!). 

Being of a certain antiquity and with a slightly dodgy ticker to boot, effectively we have spent 2020 in Covid-19 lockdown and social distancing. We have only been with the grandchildren three times, and no photos, it was raining.  So attached is a photo of happier times past with our black working cocker Spaniel, Bronte, up in the Lake District Fells above Grange-over-Sands last year and a dream of the year to come.

Take care, Zoom, Skype, StreamYard your way to enjoy what you can while you can, with our sincere best wishes for a very Happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year.

And a big Covid-19 man-hug to Tony for the OBA Newsletters, especially the wonderful so very true world of Rompers Green.
Jack Cross, Moralet, Alicante
A very Merry Christmas (if such a thing is possible this year) to all of my fans around the world... and to those that actually know me.  Hopefully 2021 will be a much better year for all of us (if we survive to see it).  Best wishes to all from, currently, sunny Spain. One more thing... Very special Season's Greetings to Tony Gale, and a huge Thank You for all that you do for the Movers of the world (even if you have to twist a few arms to get a reaction from some of us).  Long may you keep up the good work.
Tony Feast, Swindon, Wilts
Merry Christmas to all movers and families, I hope you have a great time wherever you may be.
Peter Bessant, Chorley, Lancs
Merry Christmas to one and all short fat long or small may your days be filled with cheer and let’s all hope for a better New Year.
Jai and Jan Cookson, Dubai
They say that friends are the family you choose. I’m so glad “Movers” are my chosen family.  Happy Christmas to young and old.  Keep safe. 
Al Gordon, St. Albert, AB
I wish the movers around the world a Merry Christmas, especially those deployed abroad this season. For all of us I hope that we are all blessed with a covid free New Year. Keep your load secure and within limits.
Chas Clark, Sprucedale, ON
Could you wish the listed friends and their families  a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, hopefully a year when we can return to normal . Thanks and you stay safe and well. Robbie James, John Beadman, David Powell, Duncan Grant, Ray Clark and, of course, Charlie Cormack.
Rebecca Dixon, Comox, BC
To all the Movers new and old, I wish you all a Merry  Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.
Budgie and Carolyn Baigent, Takaka, Tasman 

Hi Tony and thanks for another magnificent effort in keeping us 'old bods' in touch throughout this crazy year. During the many weeks/months of lockdown you have ensured through the OBA that even though we may have been 'imprisoned' at home, you have given us all the opportunity to share stories and focus on the brighter side of life. Not to forget the compassion you/we were able to share with those not so fortunate - your dedication is very much appreciated.

We from the 'Land of the Long White Cloud' [Aotearoa/New Zealand] have been fortunate to be relatively Covid free and continue to enjoy life and tour within Country at will.

Our earlier plan to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in Rarotonga was thwarted however, so we made our own little piece of 'Rarotonga' at the beach! Here's wishing you and fellow movers around the globe a happy and safe festive season.
Phil & Sue Beese,  Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts
May we wish old friends and all OBA members a very Merry Xmas and a happy and peaceful New Year. It is hoped that we can all look forward to better times in 2021.
Derek Barron, Calne, Wilts
I wish all Movers, past and present, a great (boozy) Xmas and a better New Year.  I would also like to especially thank ALL the men and women in uniform, who will be on duty this Xmas and look after us so well. Thank you for your sacrifice, being away from your home and loved ones, to keep an eye on us. Get home safely from your shift or detachment. I will raise a glass to you all.
Alister Cheesewright, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts
Merry Christmas to all movers past and present. Will be glad to see the back of 2020. I hope 2021 is good to you all.
Gordon Gourdie, Euxton, Lancs
It is most comforting to know that at long last I am once again on a Naughty List. It has been some time. Anyway, here's to a Merry Xmas to all Movers, especially to the guys who are away on task over the holiday period.
John and Betts Dornan, Truro, NS
Greeting from Truro, Nova Scotia! We wish a very Happy New Year to all Loadmasters and families. Wishing everyone a healthy 2021. Wear a mask!  Stay safe!
Frank & Mandy Holmes, Stratford-upon-Avon
A very Happy Christmas to you all and, hopefully, for us all, a Covid-free 2021, especially to our close friends made over the past 50 years. A thought also for those special people we’ve lost from the pantheon of movers over the past couple of years and to their families who may not be able to see and celebrate with their relations at this special but difficult time. To you all we send our love and very best wishes. 
Steve Burnett, Oxford, Oxon
Merry Xmas to one and all.
Mark Attrill, Tallinn

Season's Greetings to everyone from Tallinn in this most difficult year for all of us. I must pay tribute to those members of the Commonwealth Movements Organisations and the respective Air Transport Forces for the sterling work that you have all done throughout the year to support our Governments and civil authorities with a multitude of tasks in support of our global effort to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. There does appear to be light at the end of this very dark tunnel for us with news that a vaccine has been found but I imagine many will still be working over the holiday season to distribute this and my thoughts are with you.

It has been a memorable year for me in other ways too - I will finally retire in February after 41 years Service to take up a civilian job here in Estonia and the Chief of Defence Staff recently honoured my Service to his nation over the last five years with the award of the Distinguished Services Medal - the highest peacetime honour that can be bestowed on a member of the Armed Forces. This will be a very different holiday season for many of us but I wish you and yours all the best and hope for a better 2021!
Andy Brookes, Stoke-On -Trent, Staffs
To all Movers past and present, have a great Christmas and a very happy, prosperous and healthy New Year.
Graham (Fitz) and Liz Fitzgerald, Newport, Mon
To all ‘Movers’ past and present; In these uncertain times, take the opportunity to make the most of the people you are with -  whether your immediate family or your larger ‘Movers’ family – stay positive, stay safe and  more importantly stay positive!
John (JJ) Lee, Brisbane, QLD 
Christmas Greetings to Movers “past and present” everywhere! What am I saying? We’re all Movers forever!
Clare Turner, Swindon, Wilts
To all Old Bods near and far, I wish you a very Happy Christmas and the gift of health and happiness in 2021. Love and best wishes.
Ian Sloan, Aberlour, Banff
I would like to wish everybody a happy Christmas if atall possible and hopefully a far better New Year. Also does anyone recall what became of Wg Cdr Dave Gambol and WO Geoff Gilson?  I have been thinking of them for a while and it would be nice for my piece of mind.
Pete and Annie Biggs, Carterton, Oxon
We both wish a safe Christmas for all movers on shift or detachment worldwide (JADTEU).
Don Hazlewood, Swindon, Wilts
Wishing everyone who can a Merry Christmas and a hopeful New Year, and with luck we may start getting back to normal (that’s if Movers can be normal!).
Paul and Penny Newman, Peterborough, Cambs
Here’s wishing all Movers past and present the very best for Christmas and an even better, and hopefully Covid free, 2021. Nil Illegitimi Covid Carborundum to anyone who is suffering!
Jerry & Kim Allen, Cheltenham, Glos

Typically, I offer the movements brethren a silly game for Christmas from my ever growing collection.  This year, unfortunately, anything involving people within throwing distance of one another is more difficult.  ‘Are you there Moriarty?’ and the much more violent Allen version is not going to happen.  Out also is pass the orange neck-to-neck.  So 2020 for the Allen family will be Bingo!  We have bought a loud-hailer for the caller and we are all going to sit in opposite corners of the garden with a beer and a bingo card. 

In closing, I would like to wish everyone as good a Christmas as possible.  A line from a new song I heard last night was, “Christmas is coming down the road, it’s too late to stop it.”  May it stop and rest where you are. 

Love from Jerry and Kim.
Clive (Taff) Price, Brecon

I left it too late to send you my remembrance day memories. My very first was  in the garden of Kent, at a town named Rochester.  We followed a school band who could only hit three notes out of six. Marching to church, we rounded a corner with teenagers poking fun at us.  The airman in front of me (a boxer) threw two punches and dropped two of them on their backs.

After the service we marched to the RBL club for eats and drinks, on the way, a motorcycle came around a corner and drove right thru us. We scattered in all directions. at the club  it was decided that it was too small for all of us, so only the officers and ncos were invited in. The moral of the story is if you can't take a joke you shouldn't have joined the RAF!

The fat Taff who drank with Bob Turner - Abingdon - F team 1966-70
Wayne Shaw, Hillcrest, AB
This is definitely a Christmas to remember. Hopefull we can remember something positive, that will bring a smile to our face. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to everyone far and wide. Stay safe and God Bless.
Mick and Sharyn Hughes, Collingwood Park, QLD
A ‘cool yule’ and merry new year to all fellow and ex-movers, stay safe and hoping that 2021 is a vast improvement on 2020.  
Harold and Val Jones, Neston, Cheshire
Many Cheers to all movers everywhere, all the very best for 2021
Always look on the bright side of life!
Sam Heaphy, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts
To you and yours, despite the global conditions, have a wonderful Christmas and all the best for the new year. To all the members of MAMS, past and present, you too have a very happy Christmas and let's hope 2021 will be better for us all!
Jim and Mary Marchant, Cupar, Fife
Wishing you, your family and Movers everywhere, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Nigel McCann, Armadale, Falkirk
Season's greetings to all movers last and present. With a special mention to those on duty who won’t be with their families and friends this Christmas.
Steve Croston, Twyford, Berkshire
Please wish all our colleagues around the World a very merry Christmas and a healthy and safe New Year if at all possible. I will provide an updated photo one of these days, honestly.
Merv Corke, Swindon, Wilts
Merry Christmas everyone from Mervyn.
Dave (Ginge) and Jeni Brixey, St. Anne's Chapel, Cornwall
Season's greetings to all in the Movements extended family wherever you may be this festive season. Also, If anyone has pictures of the various airccraft models in the RAF Movements School, I'd be obliged if you could send them to me via this august publication; particularly the cutaway VC10 and the Hastings.
Shawn Bellas, Bungedore, NSW

To all the movers, I’d like to wish everyone a safe and COVID free Christmas. With the added workload you all have had over the past twelve months supporting operations, bush fire relief, floods, Defence Aid to the Civil Community and border and hotel security details here in Australia, you deserve all the rest you can get.

A special mention must go out to my UKMAMS team members during the period 2001-2003. I’m not sure what you all are up to but I hope it is something worthwhile and a few beers over the BBQ can fill in all the details. I sense a reunion is on the cards at some point in the future. Cheers!

WGCDR Shawn Bellas
UKMAMS Team Leader 2001-2003
(currently CO 22 Airbase Operations Squadron)
John and Allana Gillis, Hanwell, NB
On behalf of Allana and I, we want to wish all Armed Forces personnel and their families a most joyous Christmas and a happy New Year. For all serving members that are away from their families and friends, our thoughts and prayers are with you for a safe return. Thank you for your sacrifices and dedication.  God bless.
Lucy Temple, Basingstoke, Hants
I’d just like to say Merry Christmas to all Movers past and present. And to ensure that those deployed or away from their families are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. 2020 has been tough but I also believe that it’s also brought absent friend to the foreground. But regardless of where you are if you’re once a Mover, you’re always a Mover. Travel well my friends. Lucy x
Jim MackIntosh, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire
All Movers Worldwide - wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2021.
Wayne Harker, Edmonton, AB
I would like to wish all my many friends in the MAMS/LOADMASTER trades a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2021.  It has been a tough year for many but we pray 2021 will be better.
Tony Dunphy, Swindon, Wilts
Here's wishing all movers, and their families, the very best Christmas possible and a much safer and better New Year.
Cap'n Al Sadler, somewhere near Martinique
I want to wish all my brothers and sisters in the movements world a wonderful holiday and the very best for you all in 2021. I'm sure there isn't one of us looking forward to starting a new and better year than what we all just went through.
Bob Pountney, Forres, Moray
May I wish you and all the OBA members a very Happy and Healthy Christmas and a Covid19 free 2021 from an unseasonably wet Scotland. Once again an excellent year's bulletins from yourself and looking forward to what the New Year holds in store. (Ex Loadie and Honorary Mover)
Dave "Wishy" Wash, Eastern Passage, NS
For all the movers at home or away; may you all have a merry and joyous Xmas and New Year. Hoping you and your families stay safe.
Jim MacKenzie, Gatineau (sec Aylmer), QC
Hey Tony, Merry Christmas to you and all the other OBA gang.  The newsletter is always a treat and a change from the dreary regular news these days. Thanks for the effort.  So, with that in mind – Merry Christmas to all and have a good, happy and safe Holiday Season.

Michael and Susan Stoddard, Carrying Place, ON

Wishing all the movers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Peter Mullins, Townsville, QLD

I would like to wish everyone in the Movements family around the world a very Merry Xmas from us here in Townsville, Queensland Australia and hope for a much better New Year.

I look forward to reading the monthly newsletters and it brings back a lot of old fond memories. We live fairly close to the approach path for the Townsville airport which is a joint used airfield for civvies and defence and always look to the sky when you hear that familiar sound approaching and think about the changes our Australian air force have gone through, from the old C47 Dakota’s  through to the C17 Globemaster.

It’s amazing to see this massive aircraft landing on dirt airfields and wonder about the changes that have made this possible. When I see the size of the C17 I think back to the days at Richmond (NSW) when the team would be waiting for the last Herc to land on a Friday night and how quickly the boys used to jump in and unload it so they might be able to get a quick beer in before the pub shut at 10pm, I bet the C17’s has had quite an impact on getting that beer in.

We have been extremely lucky here in North Queensland with the virus, there has been minimal impact on us outside of the shutdown for a few months and for us who have retired, life has gone on as usual so for those who have visited this wonderful part of the world you would appreciate how lucky we are and hope and pray you movers stuck in some of the new lockdown areas good luck and good health.  Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all!

Lee Kincart, Basel
Happy Xmas to all Movers old and new.
Chris Wootten, Collinsville, QLD
I would like to take the opportunity to wish all the movers out there the very best wishes for the coming Festive Season with loved ones, and hope that it is safe for all. I hope that 2021 is much happier than 2020. I will raise a glass New Years to wish you all the very best!
Len Henry, Abingdon, Oxon
To all past and present movers, may I wish you a very happy Christmas and hope that you are able to see family members. For the forthcoming year, stay safe and well. If, like me, you are at that age, please get the vaccination!
Daniel Fraser, Liverpool
I’d like to wish all those who are deployed at this time of year a merry Christmas and a happy new year, be safe. I’d also like to take a moment to remember all those we have lost in the past year xxx.  To the wider movements family, happy holidays, hold your loved ones close and enjoy all the time together. Merry Christmas to you all xxx.
Robbie Taylor, Doncaster, South Yorks
Here's wishing (especially you Tony) all movers out there young and old all the very best for Christmas and a Happy New Year. It's going to be be a bit different this year so stay safe.
Bryan Morgan, Abingdon, Oxon
I send my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all friends and colleagues of the Movements world together with the hope that everyone is looking after themselves under the cloud of Covid.
Rod Elliott, Brinkworth, Wilts
Best wishes to all in the wider Movements community for a great Christmas and healthy and enjoyable New Year.
Gary Spacey, Barnsley, South Yorks
Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2021 to all MAMS Old Bods and your families.
John and Liz Cockayne, Chippenham, Wilts
Liz and I would like to wish all movers A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!
Roger Titmarsh, Cwmbran, Mon
Merry Christmas to all Movers past and present - Stay safe everyone - see you on the other side!
Colin and Diana Hughes, Hastings, East Sussex
- Cambodia Feb 2020 -
Happy Christmas from the couple on the left and Happy New Year from the couple on the right.
Dave Salmon, Springfield, OR
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all current and past Movers wherever you may be, may 2021 see the world back to normal. The very best to you all!
Brian Lay, Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti Coast
A big Merry Xmas and Happy New Year from the Kiwi Movers down under and wish everyone the best of luck for next year. Thanks again Tony for your sterling work on this UKMAMS newsletter, wish you and your family all the best for next year and hopefully we see some light at the end of the tunnel to end this damn global pandemic.
Keith Simmonds, Nottingham, Notts
To all Movers Happy Xmas and New Year. Take extra care, it has not been a good year.  (UKMAMS 1969/75)
Brian Kent, Carterton, Oxon
Another eventful  81st  year gone by.  Wishing all Movers who I had the pleasure to know during my years in the RAF a Happy   Christmas and Healthy New Year. Recovering from Triple Heart By Pass Op due to Cholesterol last Feb/Mar.  Walking and  light exercise has worked wonders. Keep Moving!     
David and Michèle Forsyth, St Hilaire de Riez
Michèle and I wish all Movers, past and present, those we know and those we don’t, the best possible of Christmases and our warmest wishes for 2021. Thanks, too, to you, Tony, for keeping this excellent Newsletter going - always a great read. Merry Christmas and a Happy Hogmanay - despite Covid constraints and Brexit consequences.
Dudley Olsen, Caloundra, QLD
To those who can be with family and friends and those who can’t, either through reasons of Service or because of COVID, may this Christmas season bring you closer to all those that you treasure in your heart. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and a more normal New year!  To you and yours, all the wishes of the season to you and yours and may you all soon receive safe and effective Corona vaccine jabs so that you can continue to enjoy them and to keep up the good work you do keeping everybody informed, especially when you have to put up with slackos like me. Merry Christmas and thank you! Spread the laughter - Share the cheer - Let's be happy - While we're here!
Mike and Sandra McCann, Beckwithshaw, North Yorkshire
We both wish all movers, young and old, thick 'n' thin, a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Stay safe and let’s hope that the New Year is an improvement over the old one.
Graham Leman, Poole, Dorset
A happy and peaceful Christmas to all across the world. May 2021 bring us wealth, happiness and above all normality.
Mick Cocker, Swindon, Wilts
In an effort to remove myself from the naughty list I would like to pass on my best wishes to all Movers, past and present, and hope they all have a great Christmas. We can all only hope that the New Year will bring us a better time than 2020. On the plus side, because of the furlough and home working that has been going on in the UK, fishing is booming - I have had my busiest year since opening 7 years ago, and it shows no sign of abating. I'll send an update when the current shop extension is completed and the rod manufacturing bench is in place... Merry Christmas to you all.
Fly fishing in Wales
Mick Craner, Yeovil, Somerset
A Happy Christmas to Everyone and hopefully a Better New Year.  2020 diary  will probably finish up in the bin!
Colin Pay, Isle of Wight
Merry Christmas 🎄 and a happy New Year to all Movers past and present. Hopefully 2021will be better this one.
Dave Milne, Maoribank
Just back from a three year posting to HQJOC 1 Joint Movement Unit in Australia.  Fun time with massive bush fires and Covid-19.  I'm back in NZ doing the 14 day isolation.  All the best to fellow movers and families keep safe, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Chris Thistle, Ottery St Mary, Devon
I wish all Movers past and present the happiest Christmas and a fantastic Covid free 2021.
Mick Sullivan, Carterton, Oxon
I reflect on the fact another year draws to a close and we have lost more of our number, but thanks to John B for his efforts honouring our fallen. Thank you to Tony for all he does keeping us all in contact through the newsletter and great to read people's stories of yesteryear. Looking forward to 2021.  I wish everyone young and old a great Christmas and prosperous New Year. Eat, drink and be Merry, but more importantly, stay safe.
John and Lynne Leek, La Ronde
Very Happy Festive Season from both of us in France to all.  Stay safe. Let’s have a much better 2021!
Bob Popwell, Dartmouth, NS
I would like to take this opportunity  to wish  all the folks a Merry, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May the best day of 2020 be the worst day of 2021.
Arthur Rowland, St Ives, Cambs
To all the "Movers", world wide many good wishes to you this Christmas, and I trust you will be safe and healthy. Also have a really good 2021, without any real "tension" unless you are restraining a heavy payload. Thinks, do they use tensioners these days?
Tony Last, Huntingdon, Cambs
To all Movers wherever, hope you have a great Christmas and a very happy and COVID FREE  New Year. Hopefully we can all get back to normal next year and have a gathering. I will raise a glass to you all on the day. Cheers!
Tim Richardson, Tadworth, Surrey

The classic photo of four lads was taken in Cyprus in August 1975, says on the back Troodos. From l to r myself, Taff Williams and I can’t recall the other lad's name, but he was very northern and lastly Chris Sporer. I was one of a small party sent out from the UK in June 1975 to reinforce Movements in Akrotiri. It was a year since the Turkish invasion and I think it was considered likely that they might try and finish the job. Stan Garvin was also on the detachment. The anniversary passed peacefully, they must have heard about us! I learnt a lot about lager tops and where not to get caught drinking in Limassol.

On my return to Thorney Island, the black and white photo was taken in late summer. It shows Nev Whitham, Nîgel Robinson and myself; we represented youth on the movements flight! Thorney was on the point of shutting and a few months later we all went our separate ways. I went to Northolt, there I met up with Andy Kay and Iain McHardy. I paid a flying visit back there in 1988 as one of Margaret Thatcher's Met Police close protection officers, but that’s a story for another time.  Happy Christmas from darkest Surrey, now known as Tier 4 South.  Have a safe Christmas and a happy 2021.
Ian and April Place, Meanwood, West Yorks
Happy CHRISTMAS to all the Old Bods and their families hope they have a safe and happy new year. Beware of the vaccinator, my wife April,  who starts giving covid19 vaccines on the 16th December, Alwoodley Health Centre, North Leeds. All the Old Bods nearby will be lining up (She's very good at it has given over 3,000 flu jabs this year) Love, April and Ian.
Mike and Mandy Pennington, Warrington, Cheshire
Wishing my colleagues in the movements world, a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. Here's wishing that next year is a lot better than this one.
Don and Judy Lloyd, Calgary, AB
To all the "Old Bods"  and members of all services who are stationed near and far, and especially those away from their families over this festive season may the true spirit of Christmas shine through to you.  My wife Judy and I want to wish you all a very "Merry Christmas" and the best possible "Happy New Year".
Jessie Sanford, Falmouth, NS
Hi Tony, thank you for all the work you put into the web site. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with moose milk.
David and Marisa Morrow, Carterton, Oxon
It's been a tough year for Marisa and me! Marisa has Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and has to give up the job she loves. Her mobility is badly affected. We will fight on with the continuous assistance from MS Mutual Support. A support for Serving, Veterans and their families. We wish all our friends and Movements family a Merry Covid free Christmas. God bless you all; love and peace!
Allan and Kay Mitchley, Rhyl, Denbighshire
I have been depressed. The Welsh government have forced pubs and restaurants to stop selling alcohol and close at 6pm, forcing me to talk to the wife! No seriously.  The year has been traumatic for us all. I wish all those from the trade past and present a great Xmas and new year and would be great to get a trade reunion next year if possible. Please all raise a glass for those we knew who are no longer with us. We thank you for all your hard work and support which you have given us. Take care and stay safe.
Hammy and Eileen Thompson, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
Just a quick message to wish all movers past and present a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  All is well with us. Still working hard and counting down to retirement in 2022. All the best!
Nev & Alison Whitham, Preston, Lancs

Alison and I would like to take the opportunity to wish all Movers (& Suppliers), past and present, a very Merry Christmas and an exceptional New Year for 2021 (can't be any worse than 2020, which we knew would end in 'Tiers'!) Sparing thoughts also go to those serving away from their families just now, not forgetting thoughts for our dearly departed friends too and their families.

All the very best from Nev & Alison Whitham

ps: I decided to retire on 18 Dec to pursue some 'me-time', which will include some charitable work (Safety Management Systems) for the charity that I am a trustee of and also the occasional paid consultancy work of my choosing. I did however finish on a high for the company, having achieved ISO 45001 status (ISO standard for management systems of occupational health and safety) with 92%, whilst also maintaining three other ISO standards.
Paul Stanford, Chelmsford, Essex
A very happy Christmas and a healthy New Year to all ex and serving Movers, wherever you may be.
Bernie & Osa Lafrance, Nanaimo, BC
We wish you and all your loved ones a wonderful Merry Christmas, good Health especially may year 2021 be amazing and a best one yet.
Jim Gillespie, Hampshire
My involvement with the RAF Air Movements trade was as a member of the Reserve Forces.  I had an enjoyable time in the 12 years I was there, and finished in 1995.  Sadly, the people I knew the best have since passed away. 
Eddie Hewitt, Dorset
Wishing everybody a very Happy (and Covid-free) Christmas, and a much brighter 2021. Thanks also to Tony for another outstanding year of the newsletter.
Colin Foster, Swindon, Wilts
I would like to wish all our past and present members a Happy Christmas and you all stay safe.
Andy & Faith Holliday, St Just, Cornwall
You’re quite right, this damned Covid has turned us into virtual hermits; been nowhere and done very little except DIY and gardening for 9 months now.  No holidays in sunny climes hence no cheesy pictures of self plus Faith in lovely places. We do wish all movers and their families, whether active or pursuing other activities now, a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2021.  Hopefully we can return to meeting up in the coming months.
Jeremy Porter, Long Ashton, Somerset
To all in the OBA, have a very happy Christmas and I wish you all the very best for the New Year. I hope that Santa brings you the vaccine that you have been looking forward to all year and that his sleigh is "Swift to Move!"

Allan Walker, Burnley, Lancs

To all Movers Past & Present, wherever you are,  have a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.  2020 has been a horrendous year for everbody and I trust that 2021 will see us all back to a near normal state. Keep safe and "Keep Moving"


Steve & Pam Legg, Blackpool, Lancs

A Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year to all Old Bods out there.  Take care and all the best for 2021.


Axel & Shirley Jinadu, Pollenca, Mallorca 

Wishing movers everywhere the best possible Christmas and a healthier, safer and increasingly normalised year ahead for us all. With warmest regards, as ever.


Operation Santa Claus (1955)
(From 1955 - 65 years ago) Operation "Santa Claus," the RCAF's annual Christmas mail flights to lonely Arctic outposts, is under way once more. This year "Santa" is using a different type "sled," as huge C-119 Packets [Boxcar] have replaced the North Star aircraft used in previous years. The RCAF is using two C-119 squadrons, 435 Edmonton and 436 Lachine, to split the operation, with the western squadron making deliveries to the Central Arctic and the Lachine based aircraft dropping supplies to the Baffin Island region.

More than 11,000 pounds of mail, Christmas parcels, fresh rations, emergency equipment and Christmas trees will be dropped through the dark, Arctic nights to eager hands below.  The Edmonton squadron, operating from Resolute Bay on Cornwallis island is making 10 paradrops, including drops at the five joint U.S.-Canadian weather stations.  The Eastern flyers are using Frobisher Bay, on the southern tip of Baffin Island, as their operating base to visit 12 Canadian weather, radio and RCMP detachments scattered across the Hudson Strait area and Baffin Island.

Although "Santa" is about a month ahead of schedule the flights must take place during the 10-day moon period which begins on November 25 this year [1955]. The operation was therefore timed a month ahead of Christmas to make sure deliveries reached their destinations in time.

The mail, packets, rations, etc., are packed in large wicker baskets with bicycle lights tied to the outside to enable the waiting men, standing by blazing oil drums, to follow the bundles to the ground.

This year, a new Canadian weather base, opened this summer at Sacks Harbour on Banks Island, will receive its first Christmas air-drop, while the most northerly visit will be made to Alert, situated on the very tip of Ellesmere Island. Alert, Canada's most northerly inhabited spot, is just 400 miles from the North Pole.

Canadian Virtual Military Museum

Richard (Dick) & Sue Lloyd, Dunfermline, Fife

A very happy Christmas to Movers near and far, and a peaceful and above all healthy 2021. Ever tried to get a mask AND a Christmas wreath on at the same time? Don’t bother!


Eric Batty, Witney, Oxon

Ho ho ho back at you Tony and to all the OB's around the world, from Eric and son Andrew


Andy & Helen Gell, Truro, Cornwall
Tony, thank you for your contribution to our morale throughout a memorable, and hopefully never to be repeated, 2020.  Our very best wishes for a brighter and better 2021 to all of your readers.

Richard & Caroline Allen, Newport

Season's greetings to all, hope everyone has a fantastic holiday, keep safe and have a prosperous New Year from Wales.


John and Jean Bell, Birmingham

We hope all our mover friends, including those we have never met, have a good Christmas and a safe and healthy 2021. Stay safe guys. 


The Wood Family, Pembroke, ON

Merry Christmas, Trappers.  From the Wood family, we wish all Movers throughout the world a Safe, Prosperous & Happy New Year.  May all your dreams come true in 2021.  To all the Movers deployed on operations, be safe and a speedy return to your home base.


Don and Jan Milburn, Swindon, Wilts

Felicitations for the Festive season to all serving and ex members of the movements family from Don and Jan Milburn. May your festivities be joyous and don't forget to raise a glass to those that have left the family, may they RIP.


Bob Whitworth, Masirah Island

I would like to wish all Movers, both serving and retired, a Merry Christmas and (do I need to say it  ) a boozy New Year!  I hope all are keeping safe and well and fingers crossed 2021 will be a good year for us all.


Sid and Marika Thompson, Paltamo

Wishing all Movers past and present, far and wide all the best for the coming year.


Ian and Christine Berry, Swindon, Wilts

Season's Greetings to all we know and others we never met in the Movements Family. We are coming to the end of a very strange year and hopefully we will never experience again. Life is short - enjoy it to the maximum.


Helen and Andy Gell - enjoying an invigorating walk in Cornwall
Richard & Caroline Allen practicing their
social distancing on Pen y Fan, South Wales
John & Jean Bell enjoying their sanity-
saving daily walk at Foxton Locks
Len (Woody) and Diane Wood and family gathered around the tree in Ontario last Christmas
Eric Batty sharing a joke with
a dodgy looking Santa (son Andrew?)
Richard Lloyd has had one too many
wee drams up in Bonnie Scotland!
Jan and Don Milburn
Thinking of those no longer with us
Bob Whitworth is wishing us all a Merry Christmas from Al-Fazaya Beach, Oman
Greetings from Sid & Marika Thompson in Finland.
Ian and Christine Berry on the Sea Princess cruise around New Zealand back in February/March
Harry & Bonnie Grace, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Wishing all movers everywhere a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Steve Cross, Doncaster, South Yorks  
Cheers to all and here’s to absent friends. May you survive lockdown liver and make it through to 2021.
Russ Carter, Caldercruix, North Lanark 
Wishing all Movers, both serving and ex and their families, a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.  Stay safe folks.
Colin Easdon-Smith, Ingham, QLD   
No virus effects up here, we are very fortunate, and the State Borders are gradually coming down, permitting more free travel. Eat up, drink up, be merry, but don't get fat!
Christine Dunn, Upwood, Cambs   
Please pass on my greetings to all Movers past and present. May we all have a happy Xmas and a better New Year. Christine (Widow of Brian Dunn).
Jackie and Tony Freeman, Thornhill, Dumfries   
We wish everyone at the UKMAMS OBA a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and Covid Free New Year.
Don & Fern Hatton, Liscomb, NS
Fern and I wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all movers, their families and friends and especially for those that are not able to celebrate the holidays together. It certainly will be different for all of us. We generally spend the holidays in Ottawa with our granddaughter, and the other people, but instead will continue into our 30 year self isolation at home. Stay safe and may 2021 bring health and prosperity to all.
Mike Perks, Lutterworth, Leics
To all that read the Newsletter, my very best wishes for Christmas and my heartfelt wish that you and yours  are staying safe. I hope that 2021 does not prove to be quite such a child out of wedlock.
George and Eileen Graves, Carlisle, Cumbria
We send our seasonal greetings to all movers and their families everywhere, keep safe everyone and we'll all have a better one next year.
Steve Harpum, York
Please send my warmest wishes to the Movers of the world and their families, wherever they may be, and my sincere hope that 2021 is a lot better for all of us than 2020 was!
Nige and Linda Robinson, Purton, Wilts
Season's greetings to all movers across the globe. May you all have a happy, healthy New Year. Stay safe.
John McGrath, Blackpool, Lancs
Happy Christmas Tony and also to all the movers around the world. Here's hoping that next year will be a much better one than this one turned out to be.
Tom Burrows, Sudbury, Suffolk
To all movers wherever you are. I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a better New Year than 2020. I hope that the light at the end of the tunnel will get bigger and better for everyone wherever you are. I know that because of my age my Christmas present is going to be a covid vaccination. On a happier note, I hope you can all look back, as I can, on some really wonderful Christmases past and look forward to many more excellent Christmases to come. God bless you all.
Jean-Pierre Pichette, Plainfield, ON
To all Movers, wish you a very merry and safe Christmas and let's hope year 2021 will be a lot better than 2020.  "Jeep" Pichette, LCol (Retd).
Mick & Sue Bedford, Newton Abbot, Devon
We wish all members a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Stay safe all and look forward to some normality in 2021!
Syd Avery & Riet, Alicante 
Hi, Movers everywhere. Riet and I send Christmas and New Year's Greetings to one and all in this difficult time. Especially difficult for those amongst us who have lost loved family and friends. Very important, particularly for those away from their homes, that we all keep safe, be careful and look after each other.  HAPPY CHRISTMAS. Warm Regards, from a cool Belgium.
Gordon and Ann Black, Swindon, Wilts   
Greetings from Tier 2 Swindon. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas wherever you may be. Stay safe and here's to a far better 2021.
From: Stephen & Beverley Bird, Chester  
Season's greeting to all Movers and their families around the world both serving and retired. Also, we are thinking of those families whom have lost loved ones during the last year.
Gordon Gray, Allestree, Derby
Wishing all members, and your families, good health and whatever happiness you can feel in the current circumstances, wherever you may be in these unprecedented times.  It’s 35 years since this old b....r left RAF Upavon on PVR‘ing and sadly since then reflecting on those times but especially my colleagues and those characters who have passed on, particularly this past year.  But....I still enjoy seeing and reading about those of you ‘alive and kicking’ and, some perhaps like me if only at half speed! Here’s to the ‘Best of your Christmases and a far, far better New Year for All’🎄

Peter and Rose Herring, Gosport, Hants

To all our friends - and, this year, especially to Donna and family and everyone who shared the mischief, fun and friendship of our dear friend and colleague on NEAF MAMS Colin Allan. To one and all, enjoy a VERY Merry CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year.


Pete and Shirley Ingham, Carterton, Oxon 

Wishing all fellow readers a happier new year than this last one.


Alan and Josephine Potts, Narbonne

Not a good year for anyone I feel sure; however Josephine and I would like to wish all Movers and their families a very merry Christmas and hope that we all have a better 2021.


David and Karen Jarvis, Lunenburg, NS 

A shocker from Jarvo land. For the first time in many years we have decided to do presents for each other, normally we are way too cheap but as we can't see family we decided to spoil ourselves. Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas and let's hope the new Year is fantastic for everyone. Love from Jarvo and Little K in Nova Scotia.


Trevor Porter, Vung Tau   

Season's Greetings to all past and present Movers. I hope everybody stays safe during these troubling times. I will be spending my Christmas in Vietnam at a seaside city called Vung Tau. I usually come to S.E. Asia to avoid the European winter. However, I didn't foresee when I arrived early January I would still be stuck here for Christmas. At least it's a very safe place from the virus and it's also very inexpensive here and warm.  Best regards and Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.


Syd Avery and partner Riet Poissnnier are spending the holidays in Belgium
Gordon and Ann Black during a bit of retail therapy in Tenerife in Feb.
Mick and Sue Bedford celebrating
the holidays in Devon last year
Stephen & Beverley Bird gathering some Vitamin D
Gordon Gray at the RAF 100 celebrations, Buckingham Palace
Pete and Rose Herring -
remembering a dear lost friend
Pete Ingham - Christmas in Carterton
Alan Potts is on the links
with his favourite pastime
Karen and David Jarvis
Christmas in Nova Scotia
Trevor Porter - unexpected
lengthy stay in Vietnam
Dave (Dutch), Tansy and Jordan Holland, Ringwood, Hants

Season's Greetings to all Movers Far and Wide from myself and the two women in my life, my wife Tansy and my daughter Jordan who happens to be in the RN. Jordan managed to get me a 'butchers' around their new big toy prior to it leaving Pompei for the infamous USA trip. C-19 has in turn curtailed Tansy's and my travels this year but hopefully in 2021...

In the meantime we very much sincerely sympathise with any hardship or losses that some of you have no doubt endured and hope for you all that 2021 will be a far better year along with the festive season beforehand.

All the very best, Dave (Dutch), Tansy and Jordan Holland.
Dutch and Tansy in Sri Lanka last January
Jordan gave her Dad a tour of that new big grey thing
Pete & Chris Price, Calne, Wilts
All the best to all ex MAMS. Have a good time, if you can.
Gerry Blaquiere, Hunter River, PE
I'd just like to wish ALL MOVERS around the world Merry Christmas and a Happy SAFE and HEALTHY 2021!
Bill Nangle, Kingston, ON
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Muppets, near and far.  Let's hope next year brings better times around the world. Best regards to all.
Bob Dickman, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex
A very Merry Christmas to all Movers, past and present.
Derek and Sandra Grayson, Holbeach, Lincs
Greetings to all in the Movements Trade. Not been a good year for everyone, we have lost too many friends, with Covid making it a harder year than ever before. Hope is around the corner as they say and hopefully normality will yet again prevail. So looking forward in a positive way, we wish everyone a Great Happy Xmas and an even better 2021. Cheers and Festive Greetings to you all.
Phil & Anne Horton, Harrogate, North Yorks
Wishing all Movers past and present and future, a Merry Christmas and hopefully a happy and lockdown-free 2021. This year seems to have brought too many departures to 'higher places' of friends and acquaintances; our thoughts are  with their families. Stay Safe and all the best from Sunny Yorkshire.
Bruce Gill, Newton Abbot, Devon
To all the movers that know me, a very merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.
Geoffrey Cayton, Newport, Mon
Happy Christmas to all UKMAMS 🍷🍷🍷🍷 
Jan and Simon Baxter, Louth, Lincs
A very Happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year to movers everywhere, retired, serving, at home or deployed. Take care of yourselves and let’s hope for better year next year.
Mick Goater, Goole, East Yorks
Merry Socially Distanced Christmas - and let us all hope & pray for a better new year!
Brian Cock, Hailsham, East Sussex
Hi to all Old Bods and Movers everywhere; have a great festive season. Enjoy as best as you can under the circumstances. Stay safe and well.
Jim & Maureen Abbott, St Albert, AB
We wish all those in the movements world a Happy and Safe Christmas and New Year. It has been a long sad year for us all, with many months still to come. To those who have lost loved ones, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Let us all see if we can make a difference and end this dreadful virus.
Ted Baker, Brighton, ON
Wishing all present and past Movers the very best this Xmas Season...
Gary Horobin, St Albert, AB
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all movers past and present.
George Fouhey, Bedford
I hope and pray that this Christmas we all get what we want! I also hope that the virus is killed off and all MAMS retired & serving have a safe break. To all humpers & dumpers: God Bless.
James and Jo Cunningham, Fareham, Hants
I would first like to thank you Tony for all the great work you do and wish you a wonderful Christmas and a happy and safe new year. I hope our paths will cross again one day. Please wish all movers around the world a warm and safe Christmas. Keep safe; we have beaten worse than this. I will drink I toast to you all for 2021.
Kevin Koslowski-Smith, Cambridge 
As most Movers will know, I'm not much of a religious person but Yule is something special in our family, it's going to be very different this year, however, so we must all make as best of a bad situation (as best we can!). Difficult, I know and easier said than done. But as I have great faith in the only thing I believe in, my Mover family, we'll do it... Have a great Yule everyone, see you in 2021 - What could possibly go wrong? All the Best, Kev K-Smith, Meph, the boys & the dogs!
Brian & Tina Spademan, Lanarca
Tony - Thanks for all your efforts during this trying year. Hope you and all mover and ex-movers and their families, wherever they are, have a safe and happy Christmas and let’s hope 2021 is healthy and prosperous for all.  Picture of course wouldn’t be any good without my two loves in it. December in Cyprus. Stay safe!
Terry Fryer, Castle Donington, Derby
To anyone who remembers me and those of you who have served or are still serving I wish you all very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.  The photo is of me outside the old UKMAMS HQ at what was RAF Abingdon, now in need of some TLC.
Wayne & Sue Flaherty, Winnipeg, MB
Sue and I send our best wishes to all Traffic Techs and their families for a wonderful Christmas and for only good things in the new year.

Barry Tappenden & Family, Bedford 

Merry Christmas and a better New Year... stay safe, Barry Tappenden and all my Family. Photo: If you are unfortunate to have to go for a MRI scan at Bedford Hospital there is now an opportunity to listen to your favourite music while you're in the scanner, thanks to Hospital Radio Bedford who have produced a MStick with a selection of 42 different types of music from 60's,70's, Punk, Rock 'n' Roll, Classical and Country & Western. Just making things a little bit easier because that's what Hospital Radio Bedford does best. You can listen every day 24/7 on Hospital Radio Bedford just click on the red LISTEN button.


Duncan Grant, Edinburgh 

Season's Greetings from my new residence in Bonny Scotland . New Year will be particularly celebrated! Do join me in spirit wherever you are and to welcome in a New Year that can only be an improvement on 2020.


Send an e-mail to: Duncan

Neil Baldock, Royal Wootton Bassett

Happy Christmas all. Happily retired from the RAF for over four years and even more happily employed as the Ground Handling Manager for the A330 fleet at RAF Brize Norton and it gets better still as the best job in the world is now being a Grandad… Stay safe, stay in touch and stay happy.


Gaetan & Sylvie Chasles, Gatineau, QC   

Nous voudrais souhaiter Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année a tout les amis du mouvement en ces temps difficiles demeurons fort et sécuritaire.  We just would like to wish all movers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years in these hard time and everyone to stay strong and keep safe.


Fred & Bonnie Hebb, Gold River, NS

Merry Christmas to all Movers especially those deployed and away from your loved ones. Please stay safe and hopefully get home soon and thank you for your service. To all of the retired movers stay safe, wash your hands and wear a mask no matter how uncomfortable they are. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all the best in 2021.


Kev Koslowski-Smith - not really a Grinch!
Brian and Tina Spademan - rallying in Cyprus
Terry Fryer and the old UKMAMS HQ at the former RAF Abingdon - both in need of some TLC!
Wayne Flaherty with his buddy Hemi
Barry Tappenden delivering some much-needed music to the MRI at Bedford Hospital
Duncan Grant is back home in Scotland
Neil Baldock is one happy grandad!
Sylvie and Gaetan Chasles during happier times
Fred Hebb is Santa Claus - going virtual this year
Martin Read enjoying time
with family at Paignton Zoo
Jim and Trish Bissell, Ellenton, FL
Just wanting to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and an even better New Year.
Clive Hall, Highworth, Wilts
A Christmas message from an oldie with snow on top to wish all members of UKMAMS far and wide a very happy Crimble and New Year but stay safe wherever you are and remember the good times that were had by all!
Mark Hounsell, Eastbourne
Hi all,  still at ASDA working nights. Hope you are all well after this hell of a  year.
Dave Foster, Cornwall
As an ex-Mover from the 80’s (D Shift Traffic at Brize for 6 Years), I would like to wish everyone a Merry Xmas and lets hope next year will be better than this year. Condolences to the families of the guys we’ve lost over the past few years including Terry Christie (also D Shift), Ecky, Brian Connellan, my WO Officer who got me out of a lot of scrapes at Coltishall and unfortunately many more who have passed away.
Lorraine Hughes, Stourport on Severn, Worcs
Wishing every Mover around  the globe a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. I look forward to when we can meet up again.  Very best wishes. 
John Delia, Geelong, VIC
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all from Geelong, Australia. Cheers!
Steve Edwards, Queanbeyan West, NSW
HoHoHo - It’s been a very different year, bring on 2021, enjoy your festivities be safe and I look forward to reading the words of wisdom from around the globe from those wise old Airmovers.
Geoffrey (Birddog) Bird, Lake Albert, NSW
To all my Mover friends, Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope the New Year is better than this one and all are healthy and well.
Gerry Davis, Bedminster, Somerset
This coming year it will be 50 years since I left the gates of RAF Lyneham to enter the life of a civilian. Nevertheless, I still feel as though I belong to the Air Movements family; although those I served with all those years ago may or may not be still around. But for all those serving still, and we veterans, may I offer my best wishes to all, a happy Christmas and hopefully a better, prosperous and healthy New Year.
Ricky Howell, Swindon, Wilts
To everyone out there please stay safe have the best Christmas and New Year you can have. hopefully not too much longer before we can all get together for a few beers.
Alan and Lorraine Irving, Royal Wootton Bassett
To all "Mover's" past and present and their families. Have a great Xmas and a wonderful New Year. Let's hope that "21" will be a more memorable year for us all.
John Guy, Northampton, Northants
To all readers where ever they might be. May this blessed season bring you peace, joy & happiness throughout the coming year.
Brian Hunt, Brighton, East Sussex
Wishing all Old Bods, especially Charlie team on UKMAMS, a very happy Christmas and rather better New Year than 2020.
David Boudreau, Greenwood, NS
I would like to extend a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my fellow Traffic Techs... I wish you all a safe Holiday Season.
Barry, Judy Fletcher, Georgetown, TX
Still here, fit and well. Motorcycling continues to keep me sane, although I can think of those who may dispute that. I hope next year will be kinder to everyone. Stay well and enjoy Christmas safely.
Philip Clarke, Swaffam, Norfolk  
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all hope you all have a nice Christmas and all stay safe.
Jacques Guay, Port Charlotte, FL
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all Movers across the world.

Barney Fielder, Huntingdon Cambs

Wishing all Movers past and present a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year and not forgetting all those away from their families at this festive time on Ops and dets around the world. Hopefully we can look forward to a bit of normality in 2021.


Howard Firth, Winkleigh, Devon
I wish “Movers” everywhere a most wonderful Christmas Season and a Peaceful and Safe 2021.
John and Barbara Baker, Kingston, NS
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Nova Scotia to all the former and present movers. In the photo John was presented with the Quilt of Honour. [The mission of Quilts of Honour is to bestow a universal symbol and token of thanks, solace, and remembrance to those who serve in harm’s way to protect and defend our lives and freedoms. Quilts of Honour are made by the loving hands of countless volunteers who wish to thank those who have served and to honor their service and sacrifice.]

James and Rachel Gallagher, Oxford

Dear Old Bods, wishing you all a very Merry and Covid-free Christmas.


Don Hunter, Saint Quentin de Caplong

Dear Movers everywhere!  During lockdown/s this year, there has been plenty of time to reflect on the past, and a constant source of great memories has been my time as a Mover. Great friends, great jobs, great experiences. - what more could you wish for?!  So here's wishing all movers and their families a wonderful Christmas and a very much better 2021.


David Barrett, Brecon

All the best for Christmas and New Year. Stay safe wherever you may be and a glass or two will be raised to those brothers no longer with us.


Christopher Briggs & Jane Hall, Coventry  

We would like to wish all those serving in the Movements Trade and all those Veterans from the trade a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.  Just remember to keep safe until we have all had the vaccine and look forward to a much better 2021.


Barry & Judy Fletcher enjoying
their retirement in Texas
Phillip (Nobby) Clarke is taking a break during his hectic work day
Jacques Guay - an Ottawa
export to Florida's Gulf coast
Barney Fielder is having a cold one in Doc Martin's film location - Port Isaac
John & Barbara Baker - when he was presented with the Quilt of Honour
James Gallagher is kept busy looking after grandkids in their bubble
Don Hunter - memories
of a misspent youth
David Barrett is feeling down
about being another year older
Chris Briggs and Pat Hall were at Raffles Hotel, Singapore, in March

Dougie & Jackie Betambeau, Swindon, Wilts 

In what has been a traumatic 2020, our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones & have taken comfort knowing that the “Mover Family” is always there for them... peace & love.  Seasons Greetings To All... Love & Warmest Wishes... Jackie & Dougie.


Keri Eynon, Thatcham, Berks
To everyone we are wishing you all a blessed, peaceful and as good a Christmas as you can have given the current situation. Here's hoping 2021 will see the effectiveness of the vaccine allowing people to get back to near normality so here's wishing you all the very best for 2021.

Sue & Bob Dixon, Royal Wootton Bassett   

Sue and Bob Dixon send greetings to Movers-worldwide with best wishes to those serving and particular seasonal greetings to those who are now retired from their respective Services in our community of Movers in several nations.  We are drinking a toast to you all from our gluhwein glasses accumulated during our previous excursions to the Christmas Markets of Europe.  Although this year has necessitated celebrations at home, we look forward to returning to our favourite haunts next year. That’s the thing about Movers: often b-----d about but always bouncing back! Here’s to 2021!


Len Bowen, Chisholm, ACT
A very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year to one and all.  May the Deity of your choice keep you and yours safe in 2021 - which, one would hope, can only be better than 2020.
Duane Bach, Carrying Place, ON
To all Movers… Merry Christmas and All the Best in 2021. As Canadians we have endured historical challenges and overcame these with common sense and compassion, please take time and remember those serving our country and our community who cannot be with their families during this special time of the season. 
Graham & Mary Allen, Nottingham
Sending warmest Christmas and New Year greetings  to all the fantastic Movers and their families past and present. May 2021 be a wonderful year  for you all.

Jean-Yves Gagnon, Clermont, QC 

I wish a happy holidays to all my friends and all movers around the world. Take care and stay safe.


Keri (Taff) Eynon & Family - dinner in Newbury
Len Bowen's Bushfire Sunset
Canberra 28th Jan, 2020
Duane & Shirley Bach were at Kashwakamak Lake
by Northbrook, ON (north of Kaladar)
Best Wishes from Graham, Mary and Emma Allen
Dougie & Jackie Betambeau -
happier memories, prior to lockdown
Jean Yves Gagnon 
remembering those who went before
Bob and Sue Dixon - cheers to 2021!
Steve & Pam Legg on holiday
in Portstewart, Northern Ireland
Shirley & Axel Jinadu, keeping active,
keeping healthy, keeping happy!
Allan Walker - keeping it real in Burnley
Paul (Stretch) and Diane Weir, Leighton Buzzard, Beds

On behalf of my wife Di and myself I would like to wish all Movers throughout the world a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New New. Fortunately both of us have managed to stay safe.

Once again thank you for all your sterling work keeping the OBA Newsletter going especially during this pandemic. It has been a very troubling year where many have been left shocked, saddened, worried and annoyed about not being able to go about our daily lives like we used to. But there must be a glimmer of hope coming soon now that there is a proven vaccine on the horizon.

Ironically, during this pandemic, I have been exceptionally busy with commissions, especially with restoration work with cane furniture. I have included some pictures of commissions I've had over the past year or so. I was very privileged where, on one occasion, myself and Di were invited to Mansion House (before Covid) where my Champagne Hamper was presented to the Lord Mayor of London. Also, a commission to make a Jenga Basket for Harrods of London. I'm very lucky and glad that I can continue with a skill that I thoroughly enjoy.

Take care everyone, another year passes by, a year we would probably want to forget for all sorts of reasons.

Regards and best wishes, Paul (Stretch) and Diane Weir 

Restored Circa 1880 Fishing Creel
Restoration WWII Air Drop Pannier
Baby Crib
Captain's Seat For Old Canal Boat
Champagne Hamper with 12 Flute Holders
Child's Linen Basket
Jenga Basket For Harrods of London
Hamper Presentation to the Lord Mayor
Whaty Campbell, Akrotiri

Festive greetings to one and all...

So how’s the new norm? Interesting isn’t it with a bit of Christmas mix thrown in.

So I thought “jibblets” to waffling about the pandemic, let’s throw a Crimbo memory in there, one from the days when even man flu wouldn’t put a good Mover down. My thoughts were drawn to the early 90's on shift at Lyneham (yes that place of many a fond memory, the place everyone always says can never be beaten for good times).

It was the usual Christmas/New Year mid-way point when not much ever seemed to happen, the flat spot between the 26th and the 31st, the point that has you either making plans for joining a gym, or merely saying never again after a good “sesh”.
Victoria Block (ground floor) was done up in the best festive decorations, mostly robbed from Al at the Mallard Pub. The corridors (divided left and right, known locally by the occupants as “Glebe Street and Chopstick Avenue” were adorned in the finest festive trinkets including the robbed blue “scuffers” light above SAC Brad Hunts room (wired to a battery for max effect).  SAC Cam Patterson had been previously reciting Scottish poetry and defending the nation through yarns of battles the night before, but all was now quiet and settled... just before the am alarms rang out to get up, dressed and onto a 12-hour day shift.
Hangover a-plenty the lads made it to work as always to be greeted by that old favourite FS Henry Downes (god rest him) our co-ord and known by many as “Grandad and his big hands”. He had allowed us to bring in a few festive cheeky ones for that point when all was complete and we could have a little festive cheer in the crew room. So the scene was set, few loads and then a few beers.

SAC Rick Morgan had been over to France on a drive-by recently and had picked up some DFs for the lads, claiming “listen geezers, I’ve managed to get us some cheap petit pois”. Bemused at why Rick had managed to obtain crates of “small peas” we soon found out what he meant.  For those that know Rick he’s a bit of a “Del Boy” and for those that know the character he’s not that great with his French either.... Anyway small beers it was.

I forget who... but someone had brought a nice looking local bottle of spirits from overseas and so post loading, unloading, and then an hour sat round Henry’s desk, hooked and listing to tales of the “good old days“  (as we did often), someone cracked open the unknown bottle of spirits so we could say a toast.

A dozen or so in-flight wax coated cups (doubled up as you do) lined up and a measure or two in each cup. By the time the last cup was addressed someone noticed the strange state of the rest of the cups, before even a sip had been taken, the alcohol fuelled acid like potion had burned through both wax cups and was seeping onto the table... "Sack that!" said one of the lads as we lifted a “petit pois” and SAC Pickles Plowman gave out a large “mange tout Rodney, mange tout” to the year.

So from me, stay safe and look after yourself, Merry Christmas and a much, much better and safer New Year to you all.  And to all you up there who have passed on to the big crew room in the sky.... you are missed by many!

WO Whaty Campbell, Cyprus
Jon Felton, Gladstone, QLD
Here’s to a year... that we will never forget, just like our mates that have passed. Stay strong and safe Movers, be well and best regards to you all.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year you lot! Kia Kaha from down under.
Andy Downard, Ballarat VIC
Please pass on my seasons greetings to all ‘Movers’ past and present.  As you can see the Lockdown in Oz was particularly stringent!
Simon & Kate Coughlan, Swindon
To all my fellow movers, past and present, home and abroad, their families and friends, and a special toast to those we lost this dreadful year. May you achieve some cheer this Christmas, and look forward to a better and healthier 2021 for us all.
Peter Clayton, Wroughton
May I wish all movers across the world a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2021. Let's hope that we see an end to Covid 19 in 2021 and that we are able to enjoy 'normal' life once again. Let us also remember our friends and colleagues who have sadly passed away during the past year. May they rest in peace and condolences to the families left behind. Best regards, Peter. UKMAMS 1975-78, RAF Kai-Tak 1972-74, RAF Brize Norton 1969 - 72, RAF Changi 1967-69
Pete and Jayne Hopkins, Swindon
Wishing all the very merriest Christmas and hoping all enjoy a very prosperous and healthy new year.

Al McGrath, Sunderland

Just want to wish our wonderful community of friends and colleagues a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. A special shout out to all those serving away from their family, haste ye back safely.


Karl Hibbert, Sabang, Dasmariñas City

Best wishes to all Movers past and present. Keep the faith, and keep your spirits up.


James Buchanan, Canterbury, Kent

To all the OBA out and about in our now weird world and all movers past and present have a great Christmas and New Year. More importantly have a safe one!


Howard (Taff) Farrow, Pontardawe

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to all Movers serving and retired and their families! What a year! Not to be repeated in 2021 (I hope).  Let's all keep our sense of humour and stay safe.


Charlie Marlow, Freshwater, Isle of Wight

To all movers, ex-movers and families, Merry Christmas and May 2021 bring you Health, Wealth & Contentment.


Jon Felton - a Kiwi in Oz
What are the chances?
Simon Coughlan - not Cinderella's glass slipper, but it'll do just fine!
Peter Clayton - a smart turnout
on Remembrance Sunday
Pete and Jayne Hopkins
taking a walk in the woods
Andy Downard - locked down in Oz!
Al McGrath is on his way to
rob a bank in Sunderland
Karl Hibbert is living the
dream in the Philippines
Ultima and James Buchanan - "The English Cocker Spaniel is mental!"
Taff Farrow - "Let's all keep our
sense of humour and stay safe."
Charlie Marlow is getting festive
in his beautiful sweater.
Chris (Pig) Clarke, Burlington, ON
A very Happy Christmas to all my old colleagues and friends all over the world! Hopefully you are not working Christmas like me! 2021 has to be better!
Tony Street, Buffalo, NY
May all movers, past and present, have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year (In spite of Covid!). Special thoughts to those who cannot be together over the holidays.

Wayne & Sheila Donner, Medicine Hat

During this difficult time throughout the world it is so important to stay in touch and to wish everyone peace, joy and happiness now and in 2021.   Merry Christmas. Thinking of you all. Please stay safe and best wishes for a prosperous and healthy year ahead.


Steve Tomlinson, Tenerife, QLD
I will be raising a glass on Christmas day to reflect on those good souls, from the Movements Family, that we have lost this year and a toast to the rest of us who are still "kicking-on" regardless! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
Paddy & Aileen Power, Lyneham
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Roll on 2021. Eat, drink and be merry as we intend to.  Stay safe everyone and enjoy the festive season.

Mike (Fern) and Gerry Lefebvre, Burton, NB      

This has been a very different year to say the least.  Plans were made for a very interesting year with catching up with family and friends from one end of the country to the other, but then COVID-19 came along and everything seemed to go to “the dogs”.  Driving across Canada, seeing old friends/acquaintances and family in every province, Alaskan cruise all gone - plans well made but not executed.  Now we know why, while serving, we never made any concrete plans.  The “kids” were never told of any vacation plans until the day of departure, at least we knew that day we were going on vacation ‘cause the day before who knows what could happen.  This only a postponement of our plans - parti remise.   Wishing all, serving and retired, a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2021.  For now, let’s all stay safe and healthy.



Keith & Daphne Parker, Bowerhill, Wilts

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Covid free New Year with lots of love to all Movers wherever you are in the world and remember The Allotmenteers Moto: "Tomorrow is Another Day"


Mark (Turk) Bird, Edmonton, AB 

Season's greetings to all past and present, here's hoping 2021 will be a better year. Stay safe, warmest regards.


Steve & Carol Perry, Royal Wootton Bassett

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all movers and their families.  Let's hope for a better year.  Stay safe.


Chris (Pig) Clarke, UKMAMS Detachment
Southern Ontario, The Dominion of Canada
Tony Street was in the Long Bar
Raffles Hotel, Singapore
Wayne Donner will be spending Christmas
with Sheila in Medicine Hat, Alberta
Steve Tomlinson will be handling Santa's Dangerous Cargo on the 24th!
Paddy and Aileen Power at home in Lyneham
<Paddy is a doppelganger for Mr. Caine!>
Gerry & Mike Lefebvre have been
staying at home in New Brunswick
Keith & Daphne Parker "Tomorrow is Another Day"
Turk Bird will be devouring
his namesake over the Yule
Susan & Michael Stoddard
visiting Newfoundland's scenic views
Luke, Carol and Steve Perry send greetings

Jeff Thomas, Llandrindod Wells, Powys

As you will no doubt know, we have been in a nearly full lockdown in our area of Wales. No pubs, no mixing with families and no shopping. All very sad really what with Christmas just around the corner. On that note can I wish you and all the guys and girls of the movements world a Very Happy Christmas and a Very Merry New year. There is a great deal of hope for better times just around the corner, roll on 2021.



Barrie Hay, Northallerton, North Yorks
Here’s hoping that all movers and their friends and family worldwide are able to make the most of this Christmas despite the limitations caused by Coronavirus and that 2021 will herald a happier time for all.

Iain Rowlands, Coffinswell, Devon

Wishing all “Movers” past and present a very Happy Christmas and all the very best of all things. Stay safe!


Dougie Russell, Carlisle, Cumbria

Merry Christmas and Happy new year to friends and colleagues across the globe 🌎 


Gary Farndale, Torpoint, Cornwall

Merry Christmas to all movers and their families and a covid free? next year!


Neil Middleton, Ipswich, Suffolk

Here’s wishing yourself and all members of the OBA, especially ex NEAF MAMS, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New year. My thoughts also go to the families of members we have lost over the past 12 months.


Michael (OBie) O'Brien, Corinda, QLD

May I wish all and sundry a very happy Festering Season, and a New Year that delivers on the desires you wish.


Jim and Margaret Nadin, Lincoln, Lincs

To all Serving Members and those who will spend Christmas and New Year overseas and away from their loved ones, Margaret and I send you our best wishes and with you, look forward to a much happier 2021. Also to all Veterans we send our Christmas wishes and to those who are currently and bravely fighting illness our prayers for a full recovery.


Liam and Diane Devlin, Port Talbot, West Glamorgan

May we wish a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of the Movers far and wide and we hope that 2021 will be a much better year.  HAPPY CHRISTMAS everyone!


Rob & Wendy Williams, Brize Norton

We wish to pass on our sincere best wishes to you all this Christmas and that you’ll be able to spend some time with your family and close friends. Looking forward to a post COVID-19 New Year.


Barrie Hay is at home in North Yorks
Iain Rowlands - methinks he's
been into the parsnip wine!
Dougie Russell on holiday
in Devon last year
Gary Farndale and family taken on a very hot day in Cornwall in August.
Neil Middleton
"I'm twice the man I was in the 70’s"
OBie O'Brien hiding behind
a libation in darkest Africa
Jeff Thomas is having a hot beverage at the local outdoor diner
Jim and Margaret Nadin attended a family wedding in happier times
Diane and Liam Devlin were
in Paphos earlier this year
Wendy and Rob Williams
on an evening out
Keith Wilson, Highworth, Wilts  
I would like to wish all the Movers and the 50th Entry Boy Entrants a Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year.  Let's hope 2021 brings some normality.  During these lockdowns I've managed to spend most of my time preparing my allotment for the next season. Got to keep the family in veg. 
Wade Seymour, Kingston, NS
We want to wish all movers out there a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We will especially remember all families who have loved ones away and will not be home for Christmas. From our family to yours.
Roger Whittington, Merseyside 
Thanks for all of your hard graft that you put in each and every year to keep us all informed and connected. I hope everyone, serving and retired, has a wonderful time at Christmas and a great New Year. Keep safe and don’t forget to raise a glass to absent friends! The picture was taken at Adlestrop in the Cotswolds, once a very famous railway station in English poetry.
Mick and Myra Maybery, Alnwick, Northumberland
To all friends old and new, here's wishing you all a fantastic Christmas and New Year, stay safe, take your vaccine shot when it's your turn (can't wait for mine!). And especially for Chick Hatch, get well soon.

Keith Hubbard & Family, Kilgetty, Pembroke

The Hubbard's  wish all of the Movements family, past and present, a happy Christmas and,  let's hope, a better 2021 than 2020 has been.


Gary and Christine Ferguson, Ilkley, West Yorks

Merry Christmas to all hope your year has been great despite the obvious restrictions. Special thanks to all that are still serving and hope that you can manage some time with your families even if it is on Zoom. Chris and I are both well and looking forward to catching up with family over the holidays. Managed a few days out at some of our local attractions such as The Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the picture, honestly its better than it sounds. Let's all look forward to a better year for all. If any of you are in the Ilkley area get in touch, always up for a catch up beer and some golf. Take care and stay safe.


Dave and Rosemary Abrams, Weymouth, Dorset

Rosemary and I would like to send best wishes and Christmas greetings to you all. Hoping for a better 2021.


Jason and Val Murphy, Pershore, Worcs

Happy Xmas to all Movers past and present.


Ed and Karen Stout, Aylesbury, Bucks

This Christmas, may your family be functional and all your batteries be included.  Best wishes from Ed & Karen Stout. (Is it just me, or does Santa look younger every year?)


Ingrid Trautrim, Pembroke, ON

To Tony for all his amazing hard work and to all fellow movers near and far, I wish you good health, peace, joy and unconditional love this Christmas and always. Although many cannot be with family and friends, our great memories with infectious laughs will fill our holidays with happiness... Let’s strap the year 2020 to a pallet and jettison it somewhere unknown and live a happy, healthy and safe  2021... Hugs to all❤️🇨🇦


Keith Wilson is keeping his family
vegetated in vegetables
Wade and Mary Ellen Seymour
Christmas in Eastern Canada
Roger Whittington is in the Cotswolds
waiting for a train that will never arrive
Mick and Myra Maybery at home
just south of the Scottish border
Christine and Gary Ferguson
Time for reflection
Keith Hubbard & Family
Memories of a happier time
Rosemary and Dave Abrams
Sending Christmas greetings to you all
Jason and Val Murphy
Taking a break for a liquid lunch
Karen and Ed Stout
All wrapped up for Christmas
Ingrid Trautrim's family in Eastern Ontario
(My Mum will be a young 95 on Christmas Eve)

Sean Culligan, Limassol

A very Merry Christmas from Cyprus.  It’s been a difficult year for everyone but the monthly bright spot has been receiving the newsletter and skimming down to see who has written in and where they are now. It has brought back so many memories and reminded me of some great times with some of the best people I have ever met!  I hope 2021 brings you whatever you want.


Steve & Jodie Boucher, Bridlington, Yorkshire
We’d like to wish all movers and ex-movers a very merry Christmas and happy, healthy new year.
Mike and Pat Green, Coventry, West Midlands
A merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you, Tony, and to all movers everywhere from Mike and Pat Green (with granddaughter Matilda) – featuring one of the 28 St. Albans decorated pillar boxes.
Stan Seggar, Sheffield
Just a message to wish a merry Christmas to all movers and suppliers serving and retired In all areas around the world ,and let's hope for a less worrying and more normal new year.
Andy Kay, Bowling Green, KY
At this time of year let's raise a glass to remember those movers no longer with us and to those deployed away from their loved ones.  Let's also say a quiet prayer for all of us during this Covid craziness - 12 months ago, nobody could have predicted the situation we are now in.  For me, I am enjoying the retired life and making sure my wife and I stay safe.
Andy and Sue Kime, Llangollen
Greetings from Sue and I in Llangollen, where I am WFH (Wishing from Home).  I have recently started working (same job – Support Transformation) as a contractor at HQ AIR, having run out of Reserve Service Days, and definitely looking forward to a quiet, zoom-enabled family Christmas.  Season's Greetings to all Muppets, past and present, wherever you are, have a wonderful Christmas and stay safe.

Ron Corrie, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all Movers worldwide Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!


Joe Gillis and Family, Grand Mira South, NS

To all my wonderful friends and acquaintances in the Military Movements world, serving at home or on deployment around the globe, my family and I wish you much joy and happiness this season and throughout the New Year. Be safe, be sound and be aware that you are needed and appreciated for all you do!


Dave Elliott, Skelmersdale, West Lancs

Wishing you all a Merry Crimbo from the depths of hell (Skelmersdale, Lancashire) thought I’d show off my new ‘Rona Mask.  Have a good one and stay well and safe.


Andy Rice, Ipswich, Suffolk

I would just like to send out my heartfelt Season's Greetings to all the Old Bods out there and wish you all a healthy and prosperous New Year. Cheers, Andy.


Steve & Jodie Boucher
an evening at the theatre
Mike and Pat Green with Matilda
and St Albans decorated pillar box
Stan Seggar
ex-50th Boy Entrant
Andy Kay was at the Superman Museum in Metropolis, Illinois
Andy Kime - now a civilian
contractor for HQ AIR
Sean Culligan is spending
some time with his daughter
Ron Corrie will be looking forward
to some Christmas pudding!
Joe Gillis is hoping to attract some more moose in the Maritimes
Dave Elliott is showing
off his new 'Rona mask
Andy Rice was taking it easy
in Sorrento last October

Kent (Siggy) and Shaz Siggery, Derbyshire

A very Merry Christmas to all past and present movers – hope you can make the most of these tough times and celebrate the best you can!   Merry Christmas and here is hoping to better 2021!


Frank Lightfoot, Millport, Ayrshire
I recently moved to the island of Millport.  Life on the island is slow and easy for an old fart like me and my White Westie, Kyla. I trust you all will have a very merry Xmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. (ex-FEAF MAMS 'A')
Adrian Ryan, Quispamsis, NB
Merry Christmas and a better New Year in 2021 to all from Ade, Lou and our grownup kids in New Brunswick, Canada. Eat, drink and most of all, drink! 
Mark and Kir Knighton, Madliena
As we look back on a very challenging year in so many ways, we must try to stop every now and then and reflect on the awesome times and endless funny stories we have had with one another, and cherish the eternal bond we will always have. Kir and I send all our love to each and every one of you, and we both wish you all a great Christmas and an amazing and positive year ahead.
Kevan and Ann Lawrence, Cape Town
Spending Christmas with my children in South Africa.  We wish you and everyone a lovely Christmas and a better year than this last one. Stay safe everyone!

Jack and Margaret Dunlop, Aberdeen

We would like to wish all old and young movers worldwide. Seasons greetings and all the best for 2021.


Martin and Dee Gledhill, Selby, North Yorks

Have the best Xmas and New Year you can in the circumstances, wherever you may be. No doubt it will include some form of liquid refreshments...


Frank and Janet Johnston, Navarre, FL

Merry Christmas and Happy 2021 to one and all from Florida's Pan Handle.


Brian & Lussi Gibson, Kakopetria

To all Movers wherever you are, Lussi and I would like to wish you and your families a Happy Christmas. This year has been probably the worst that we have ever endured with this pandemic and we sincerely hope you stay healthy and safe. Let's all hope for a better year in 2021 and some form of normality will return.


Paul, Ellie, Mike and Dec Austin, Aylesbury, Bucks

The photo is from 2 years ago when we all got together in Mike's flat, but regardless of the fact that this Christmas is going to be different for everyone around the world, our thoughts still go out to the 'Mover' family. Whether you served in the past or are still serving, my family and I hope you managed to make the most of Christmas Day and that 2021 brings us all some much needed better luck so that we can all start to do more things with the people we love to be around. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Jeremy Dumayne, Port Aransas, TX

Wanted to wish all you story tellers out there a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! All the way from the sunny Texas Coast! Cheers! 🥃🥃 


Gerry and Joan Muffett, Cirencester, Glos

Merry Christmas  and a happier new year to all who know Joan and me.


John and Kay Tudor, Stevenston, Ayrshire
Kay and I would like to wish all movers wherever they are a very merry Christmas and a good New Year. Stay safe everyone.
Alan and Carol Kilpatrick, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset
Wishing all movers worldwide a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. In the photo is my number 2 son who has been in for nearly 4 and a half years. Sadly not a mover, but in the Intelligence branch.  Best wishes and everybody stay safe.

Troy and Linda Lee, Kanata, ON

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the Movers around the globe from Troy & Linda (retired 4 MAMS 8 Wg Trenton 1996-2001).


Rip Kirby, Bourg St Maurice

Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année to all Movers, past and present, & whatever nationality you are. Hope 2021 is a much better year for everyone. Looks like I picked the wrong year (2020) to relocate back to UK (more news on that at a later date). But, things could be worse I guess. For example, spending Xmas in a lorry cab at Dover - I really feel for any drivers still stuck there. Anyway, hope the photo brings a wee grin to your faces - me with my usual balanced diet, a bottle for each hand! 


Frank Lightfoot - now living on an island
off the Scottish coast and loving it!
Ade and Lou Ryan with their grown up kids
"Eat, Drink and most of all, drink!"
Mark and Kir Knighton
Life on Malta suits them
Kev and Ann Lawrence are in Cape Town for Xmas
"I am the kite-surfer. Honest!"
Shaz and Sig Siggery making the most
of 2020 in the Derbyshire Dales!
Martin and Dee Gledhill at New York's
Grand Central Station earlier in the year
Frank & Janet Johnston
quarantining in Margaritaville
Brian and Lussi Gibson in their new home that will require some elbow grease on the garden!
Paul, Ellie, Mike and Dec Austin
were getting together in Mike's flat
Jeremy Dumayne will be wearing shorts and
flip flops on a Texas beach for Christmas
Gerry Muffett will be at home with Joan in Cirencester (Joan took the picture).
John and Kay Tudor
Memories from a few years ago
Alan and Carol Kilpatrick with #2 Son
Troy and Linda Lee
Locked down in Ottawa
Rip Kirby is on a
balanced diet in France
New members who have joined us recently:

Welcome to the OBA!

Brian Scott, Edmonton, AB
Earle Dawson, Vernon, BC
Tomm Everett, Water Valley, AB
Triple A Feature – Antonov, Ascension and Atlas...
In January 1997, I was the Warrant Officer TSO (Training & Standards Officer) on UKMAMS at RAF Lyneham. My Flight was responsible for all training that was required to convert a normal Movements Tradesman into a “Mobile Mover”. This entailed training on several transport aircraft, the ability to apply power to them, trim them and operate any doors or in-plane systems. We trained these tradesmen to drive and operate forklifts from 6,00lb up to 10,500lb capability and also included rough terrain variants. The airmen were also trained to operate aircraft transfer loaders to operate from sill heights varying from a C130 Hercules to the upper deck of Tri-Star freighters. With preparation, ALL mobile vehicles are air portable.
Atlas 2000K Loader – Max Payload 20 Tonnes – Platform Min Height 38" / Max Height 220"
In 1996, we started receiving the ATLAS Transfer Loader which was to replace an American built Condec 25K, a vehicle which had been in service since 1966 and had served us well. The ATLAS was built by AMSS of Bridgend in Glamorgan. This vehicle had many “bells & whistles” including front & rear wheel steering, the ability to point all 4 wheels in the same direction to crab, ascending the freight platform to 18 feet as well as running on a battery for 15 mins if the engine failed. Late in 1996 one of these vehicles was shipped to Ascension Island for trials in hot weather conditions and against staging TriStar aircraft.

In January 1997 it was time to bring the vehicle back to UK. MOD had chartered a Volga-Dnepr Antonov 124 (AN124) Ruslan for the task. The AN124 was actually contracted to HeavyLift UK. We were tasked by HQ38Gp to provide an ATLAS “Expert” to deploy with the AN124 to Ascension and supervise the recovery of the vehicle. I happily accepted the challenge. If the ATLAS were to be flown in a C130 then an awful lot of preparation is required. Outer wheels, Catwalks and rails removed, Cab moved inwards and more to reduce a 12+ foot vehicle to less than 10 feet wide.
An124 – RA82047 ready for the off
Main Freight Bay & Flight Deck Ladder
The AN124 I was tasked to support and was routed from Stansted-Ascension-Mount Pleasant-Roosevelt Roads- Brize Norton. Originally I was to travel the route with the aircraft but this had to change when it was discovered that USA Visas were required for the stopover in Roosevelt Roads NAS, Puerto Rico. It was too late to arrange a visa and so I decided to disembark at Ascension and recover to UK from there.

As the AN124 (NATO Code Name Condor) was operated on behalf of HeavyLift, there would always be on board a Flight Manager (FM). He had a say in all ground operations on behalf of his company. He also carried an awful lot of cash, this could have been up to US$200,000! The reason being Volga-Dnepr’s credit worldwide was no good and everyone involved, ground handling, refuelling, catering, always demanded cash. More amazingly, nearly ALL the Flight Managers were ex-Movements Tradesmen.

This flight would be no different and it transpired the FM operating this flight was a good pal of mine, Hugh Curran, who actually lives in Swindon too. That sorted out my transport to Stansted as I travelled down there with Hugh in the very early hours of the 19th January. This also made access to the flight line easier as with Hugh’s credentials and my RAF ID card entry was painless.

When I arrived, the aircraft had already been loaded, primarily with large wheeled and crated items for delivery to RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands. As can be seen from the pictures, the freight compartment is quite long and wide (118’ x 21’) and 14’6” high.

The rear freight bay with the 5 ton crane
Both the front and the rear of the aircraft can open, at the front the whole nose section raises and then onboard ramps are lowered. At the rear of the aircraft there is a ramp and door system and then vehicle ramps can also be lowered. The rear of the aircraft also has two 5 ton gantry cranes installed in the roof so loading is made quite easy.

The Russian crew consisted usually of a basic 14. Two pilots, two engineers, a navigator, a communications officer plus a Flight Manager operated from the forward upstairs compartment and flight deck. There are also two crew rest  compartments forward, each housing three bunk beds and a galley. The rest of the crew consist of a Loadmaster and seven licensed engineers who also double up as the loading team. At the rear of the aircraft there is another compartment upstairs and this is where these engineers and the loadmaster operate from. These aircraft can carry seats for 88 passengers upstairs at the rear but on my aircraft these seats were removed and 12 beds installed in lieu!

Once I had met the Aircraft Captain and had a tour of the flight deck I was allocated a bunk at the rear and my choice of triple seats. There are very few windows. Once we were ready to chock out after engine starts the lower deck was sealed and the hatches to the upper decks fore and aft were sealed. Very much like in a submarine as it transpired the lower freight hold is only mildly pressurised. On reaching the runway we sat there for some four minutes as the engines warmed up, this it seems is SOP. At 08.15, AN124 Call sign HLA826 was airborne. Even before we were airborne I found the behaviour of some of the rear end crew intriguing. Off came the overalls and they started to chill out. Some even just wearing shorts, tee shirts and flip flops! Just as well there were no emergencies.
The forward flight deck
Upstairs rear compartment – Pick a seat!
Access to the upstairs rear compartment
They were, however, a friendly bunch even though only one or two had a grasp of English. I found internally the aircraft was no noisier than other aircraft and compared to a C130 downright quiet! I settled down with a good book and chilled too.

I was also fortunate that as I was MoD funded, there were proper in-flight rations procured from Stansted catering for my consumption. A few hours into the flight I had a walk around to stretch my legs. I was absolutely astounded to discover that a 4 ring electric cooker had been placed on top of the access hatch to the freight bay and glowing red. On top of it were two huge pans of potatoes in boiling water which was brim full!  Flight Safety and Health & Safety were obviously optional to our Soviet friends.

I must say that I was well looked after during the flight. I took advantage of the allocated bunk bed and so was well refreshed by the time we started our approach to Ascension. I also took the opportunity to change from RAF Blues to KD (Khaki Dress) and shorts. After a nine hour flight we had arrived at Ascension. My first visit to Ascension was in May/June 1982 during the Falklands war when I spent seven weeks there. In the following 15 years I had returned several times and seen the improvements and construction from what originally was tents and rickety huts to a modern airfield and accommodation.

Once we were parked and the aircraft shut down and prepared I met a few good friends on the Movements Flight I knew and was taken to the ATLAS. In this instance as little air preparation was required apart from batteries and fuel level the vehicle was ready to be loaded on to the Antonov.
AN124 At Wideawake Airfield - Ascension
Atlas Loader into AN124 – So Simple
A quick run through with the driver and a brief to the RAF loading team and then we proceeded to onload the vehicle. Once in situ, the AN124 team secured the vehicle and spares to travel with it. Hardly worth the trip! Once the aircraft was serviced, secured and locked for the night, the remaining crew, Hugh, the FM, and myself were taken to our accommodation at Two Boats. We all met up with the crew and some of the RAF Movers later that evening in the Joint Services Mess and had a few chilled beers. My pal Hugh, being a true Glaswegian, “tapped me” for the loan of £5 so as to get his round in. Remember he had US$80,000 in his bag!

The next morning, he and the AN124 crew carried on to the Falklands and then eventually arrived back at Brize Norton via Puerto Rico. I don’t think I ever got my fiver back.

Unfortunately when the AN124 arrived at Brize Norton the ATLAS would not start. Our own engineers were called from Lyneham and they suspected the diesel had frozen, I did mention the lack of pressurisation. To compound matters, the MT drivers at Brize Norton caused further damage to the vehicle when they attempted to tow it. Remember this was a brand new vehicle and so nobody there was trained on it.

I myself recovered back to UK the following evening when I connected with a C2 TriStar ZE706 and got back to Brize Norton via Teeside Airport and Bruggen in Germany. In conclusion, I enjoyed the task and experience of travelling in a new type of aeroplane and also seeing how the Russians operate; scary but effective!
Tristar C2 ZE706 on Turnaround at Ascension
Ian Berry joined the RAF as an Apprentice, 302 Entry, in 1964.  He retired as a Warrant Officer in 2003, having spent  a total of 39 years in blue.

The Misadventures of Jarvo

Episode 5: Jarvo sets new heights in the
fashion world and gets grabbed by the fuzz in Accra

Accra, Ghana 10 October 2006

Much to our disgust and irritation and, despite assurances to the contrary, we were forced to endure another week of frustration in Kigali as the Rwandans were still refusing to rotate their troops due to the issues they had with the AU.  Poor Frank was watching his career slide into the toilet along with almost every meal he tried to digest. 

Terry however, was taking it calmly as only a serene man from Big Lick, North Carolina, or somewhere like that, could; I incessantly nagged away at Gohima on the phone while Terry worked on his tan and helped me to locate the remaining goats to eat. 

We were wasting thousands of dollars a day here and I desperately wanted to move on but Gohima somehow continually managed to convince me something would happen imminently so we hung about in our gilded prison. 

I called Gohima one Sunday morning, he said he was working but as the conversation progressed it became obvious that he was in bed with his wife and I quickly ended the call to avoid any more horrendously embarrassing sound effects.  It seemed NATO wasn’t the only one getting the treatment from Rwanda. 

As some personal compensation, I spent increasing amounts of time on MSN chatting with Karen.  We had so much in common I couldn’t believe it.  I was itching to see her again.  I continued to press her for more confirmation on the woman thing....bliss.

Frank was managing to come up with increasingly obscure reasons why he couldn’t have dinner with us.  The latest was that his fragile Spam constitution meant he must eat before five o clock in the evening, so I dragged Terry screaming away from the pool early and we tried to force Frank into Eddie’s taxi.  He still managed to talk his way out of it so Terry and I eventually gave up and set off alone. 
It was heaving it down with rain and we were struggling to find anywhere open at that hour.  Eventually, at the bottom of a muddy track we stumbled upon Bar H2O.  It was fairly basic but looked ok at a glance inside and we seemed to have the place pretty much to ourselves after all, it was only four o clock in the afternoon.  Terry and I decided to be a bit posh and dine upstairs in a rickety looking room with a view out over the shanties.  The floor was carpeted with goatskins and seemed to be constantly moving.  Strangely, we both felt at home.  The waiter informed us that they were indeed open and served us our favourite Mustig beers almost cold.  The menu was in Swahili, somewhat limited and carved into a lump of wood. I ordered a selection of my favourite nibbles and some fish while Terry bravely plumbed for an entire goat leg.  A few minutes later, the sound of a goat being noisily slaughtered beneath us broke the tranquillity.  Twenty minutes later, the staff were stapling down a new piece of carpet. 

Being very freshly killed, the food took nearly two hours to prepare and Terry and I were both a little the worse for wear, damn that warm beer, when we finally got to eat something.  It was well worth waiting for, it was indeed the entire goat leg which was ceremoniously semi filleted in front of us in a flurry of flashing clunking knives.  Eddie picked us up and we snoozed our way home contentedly.

Chatting with Frank, it turned out that I knew his boss, Doug Sevier, (pronounced severe) from my time serving with the SPAMS in Vicenza in 1998 so I grabbed Frank’s phone from his hand one evening and had a quick chat with him.  He invited me to visit him in Germany for a weekend to see how much bushier his moustache had become and poor Frank, who was sweating on his promotion grade, was shaking beside me as I said a cheery goodbye.

Finally we got to work on an aircraft.  The US were sending the Miami Air Charter flight they had contracted to Darfur to pick up the in-country Ugandan Civilian Police who would then be transferred to a Botswana C130 in Kigali to go on to Entebbe….I know…but you try speaking to them.  After initially refusing to get on the aircraft in Darfur till they were paid, the CIVPOL were herded onto the aircraft and brought to Kigali.  What a farce ensued.  The Spams had twenty people milling aimlessly around with no one obviously in command and it was utter carnage. 

The CIVPOL had managed to get themselves off the Miami Air flight and were wandering around between the aircraft with ghetto blasters under their arms, medals swinging like a cheap strippers' nipple tassles (so Terry told me) and filming each other.  To me, there looked like far too many people and bags to fit on the C130 but amazingly they crammed it all on.  Every second of this debacle was filmed and photographed by their PR woman who was a complete pain in the arse, ‘No interviews, I’m English’.  As the C130 lumbered into the air I realised that in some ways I was glad that this was the only definite aircraft as I wasn’t sure I wanted to witness another example of ineptitude on this scale.

Terry and I realised that we could longer afford the hotel food and drink prices or even the Chinese restaurant and we were forced to frequent a local bar most evenings.  The way we were being treated as regulars was starting to concern me; it was definitely time to move on.  I saw the first dog I had seen in three weeks.  I was told, and I don’t know if this is true, that during the Genocide, the dogs got the taste for human flesh and were subsequently almost eradicated. 

Thursday night and Frank casually informed me that the US chartered aircraft was leaving the next day as it was just pointless for it to remain if there was no flying to be done.  I told Gohima and he seemed to be upset which just wound me up even more and I lost a little patience with him.  Frank requested that we stayed on in Kigali for the next forty eight hours just in case anything changed, so I booked our flights to Addis Ababa for the Monday.  Terry was utterly nonplussed and for me, well at least I got to chat with Karen some more.

Our final social event in Kigali was a birthday party for Steve’s son Jack.  We got there at five o clock and Jack was in his usual fine form.  Terry and I spent hours playing with all the kids and getting covered in mud, snot and whatever else they managed to fling at us.  Because Terry didn’t speak any French or Swahili, the kids treated him like some kind of special needs case and mimed outrageously at him.  It was only when the kids departed for bed that we realised we were the only blokes amongst eight of Sarah’s dolled up friends.  It was rabbit in the headlights time.  The ladies wanted to get some music going and dance…I didn’t, thankfully there was a perfectly timed power cut and the music died just in time to save me from utter humiliation.  It was a great party though and we got loads of snaps to send to Steve in the Sudan and his mum in the UK

When the forty hours had passed with nothing changed, we left the Novotel in Kigali with the bar staff thanking us profusely for putting all their kids through private school.  Back in Addis it was raining, cold and dark.  As I had failed to sort it out myself and had left it to the moron admin staff in Addis, we had no rooms booked for the week in the Hilton.  It took us a while to get a one night only deal sorted and we shuffled grumpily off to the Milk House restaurant to bore Rafa with our tales of hardship, courage and partying in the wilds of Africa. 

In common with many countries in Africa and of course Naples, the roads in Addis were riddled with potholes which caused problems on a normal day but posed extreme difficulties after a bout of heavy rain.  Unless you knew the road intimately, a drive through puddles of unknown depths could be fraught with hazards.  Even on foot, Terry, Rafa and I must have looked pretty stupid hopping and skipping our way to the restaurant. 

In Chad I was following an old overgrown survey line with two of the local lads on the back shouting directions.  The savannah grass was at least five feet tall and forced me to drive slowly, constantly looking up and listening tensely for the shouting from my guides.  Unfortunately, I drove straight down an old shot hole and threw both lads over the top of the vehicle where they disappeared into the bush in front of me.
Thankfully, they were unhurt and we had a little giggle about it before I realised that I had broken one of the leaf springs on the vehicle.  We tortuously removed the offending spring and dispatched the loser of stone, scissors, paper off to the nearest town, two days walk, to get it fixed. 

Meanwhile we sat on our arses surrounded by lions and other horrendous creatures trying to keep a fire going to keep everything away while we slept in the open.  At first I thought we were being hassled by monkeys or baboons, as at night there was a lot of crashing around and odd grunting noises, I flashed my torch around in a 360 degree circle one night to see an alarming amount of eyes blinking back at me.  “Is it monkeys?” I asked “No sir, lions”.  Knowing instinctively that they were not vegetarians I slept as close as possible to the fire. 

It was here that I suffered the indignity of having a dung beetle virtually sitting under my arse waiting for some action while doing a number two and then was stung in the foot by a scorpion that must have been clinging on for dear life when I banged my boot out one morning.  The pain was almost indescribable, probably like having a knitting needle driven through your heel and up your leg.  My companion quickly shoved a cloth that had been in a pan of boiling water on the wound to kill the pain.  In retrospect, I have to say a third degree burn was marginally less painful than a scorpion sting. 

The lads didn’t really learn from that bitter experience and were again on the back of my Toyota when I attempted to ford the river Chari, near Sahr in the south of Chad just as we felt the level of water had dropped enough to make the attempt.  Windscreen wipers going full tilt and with the lads banging on the side of the vehicle to indicate the direction I should take to stay on the higher sandbanks we were making fairly good progress.  That was until I failed to comprehend the banging signal for an imminent collision with a fish and clattered into a rather large Capitaine Anglais minding its own business mid stream.  We managed to plough on, well I did, the lads had dived in to try and get the stunned and obviously pissed off fish.  Safe on dry land and with water pouring out of the pickup I inspected the damage.  Bloody fish had disagreeably broken a head light.  I then had to fill in an accident report showing direction of vehicle and direction of fish.  Not sure the insurance paid up on that claim.

We had also arrived in time in Addis to attend the leaving party the following night for Gerhard the fat useless German admin guy.  Terry and I scanned the menu and went for the goat just for a bit of variety, and then proceeded to get more than a little squiffy.  As a result we opted for the low profile approach around the office the next morning and took some completely unearned R and R with a half bottle of gin on my balcony.  

The view from my room at dawn was stunning.  The sun beautifully lit the distant hills that were seemingly sheltering the dusty metropolis that was Addis Ababa.  Easy to feel all warm and fuzzy when you can’t feel the wants and needs of the people existing in a different world just below your window.
Most visitors to Africa keep their blinkers on.  Addis looked very similar to Colombo in Sri Lanka from my lofty vantage point, the same dusty sunshine at ground level.

The new admin guy, a bloody Frenchie, was going through my spending with a fine tooth comb and I was getting gradually more and more wound up with him.  I had to have a NATO contingency fund with me to cover things like taxis, phone cards etc which I had to keep separate from the receipts for my personal spending. 

This whole accounting process was costing me an inordinate amount of time every day, mainly because I was fairly meticulous about it.  I knew therefore, that he could not possibly find anything untoward but it still pissed me off, it wasn’t like they were paying us. 

Army pay parades during my basic training taught me to be wary of getting paid in cash.  I used to have to line up alphabetically with the rest of the guys and then when it was my turn, march, at a stupidly fast pace, into a room where I would be confronted by our troop officer behind a desk with piles of notes and coins on it, flanked by his SNCO’s.  After a screeching turn, a crisp halt and a smart salute, he would count out the readies on the desk in front of me.  One dark day, I intently watched him count out the money, bellowed “Pay correct Sir” as required and stepped forward to collect my hard earned cash when the SNCO’s almost in unison shouted “STAND STILL” It seemed that once you had halted you could approach no closer to the desk.  As hard as I tried I could not lean forward far enough to reach the money and was therefore, unceremoniously marched out at extreme pace with a kick up the arse for my trouble as poor as when I had entered. The next week I vowed not to make the same mistake.  As I was breathlessly marched in I was repeating to myself in my head “Don’t fnck it up, don’t fnck it up”. This time I was way too close and kicked the table as I halted, scattering money everywhere.  Two kicks up the arse this time and broke again.

I decided to head for Accra on Friday to get away from Addis and more pointedly, the French git.  Terry would leave for Lagos the following day.  Once again I was the only white face on the flight but thankfully this time it wasn’t anything like full.  There was a particularly striking reproduction picture of Slaves being rounded up by white traders where the movie screen should have been.  As the seatbelt sign was extinguished there was an unseemly scramble for the spare seats and I managed to adeptly elbow an Indian out the way as he naively asked permission from the stewardess to move and got a spare row of three seats to myself. 

This was a terrible flight; every passenger around me was coughing, sneezing and emptying their noses as well as the gaseous contents of their stomachs.  I shoved one set of earplugs up my nose as well to compensate.  The food was truly yelping, tough dry chicken, hard rice and a chocolate mousse….or that’s what it looked like. 

I was wearing my usual stylish travelling ensemble which consisted of my Leicester City football top and a pair of snazzy trousers that could be turned into shorts with a swift and stylish zipper action just above the knee.  Unfortunately, I noticed that one of the zips appeared to be coming apart, only a couple of inches but enough to cause me some concern.  Sadly, as I barged my way to the pay on arrival visa counter in Accra, the leg parted company and fell around my ankle.  I had no option but to feign indifference, ignore it and make out that it was a traditional English arrival custom.  The immigration officer was less than impressed by my Military Advisor to the African Union story but obviously admired my dress sense as he seemed unable to take his eyes off my lone hairy leg.  Unable to blag free entry to the country I was $100 poorer when I was eventually allowed to make my way to the baggage claim. 

While waiting optimistically for my case to appear, I changed $100 and become an instant millionaire stuffing wads of notes into my bag.  Ghana actually went through a redenomination process in 2007 knocking four zeros off the value of the Cedi, how I wished they had gone through this a few years earlier.  Incidentally, CEDI is the Akan word for cowry shell which was the original form of currency in Ghana.

As I exited the arrivals hall into the bright sunshine outside, a stunned silence greeted my appearance.  Once the initial shock was over, I was assaulted by a thousand babbling taxi drivers. Thankfully, I was eventually located by the bus driver for the Shangri La Hotel who recognised me from my last visit to Ghana on my way to the Congo nine years previously.  I grabbed an old lady who was selling Remembrance Day Poppies and bought four of them with pins, made an emergency repair to my trouser leg and then gave her the poppies back.

Don’t be misled by the name, Shangri La, initial impressions were good but it went rapidly downhill as I was led, pins jabbing into my leg, to my room.  It was dark and damp and I had to sweep ants of the bed before I could sit down to reflect on why I had stupidly left the relative luxury of Addis earlier than I had to.  The bathroom light sent cockroaches scuttling for cover and only one of the electrical sockets seemed to be working.  I unpacked and made my way to the bar for some dinner, shoving wads of cash into my wallet.  It would barely close there were so many notes inside and made a rather unsightly bulge in my trousers; boy was I popular with the ladies.  Fish head stew was not a meal to be really enjoyed in polite company but I was so hungry I gladly sucked out the cheeks and brains and listened to the resident band, the Gold Dust Combo, slaughter Lady in Red followed by The Power of Love.

After two beers my foot was tapping involuntarily so it was time to leave just as they broke into a jaunty Neil Sadaka medley.  I opted for one last pee before bed and the power went off mid stream, electrical power and not bladder power in case you were wondering, plunging me into darkness.  The image of the cockroaches emerging threateningly from their hiding places immediately popped into my head and I succeeded in peeing all over my feet in a blind panic.  Incidentally, Terry had the rare gift of always being on the running machine in Kigali during a power cut and clattering into the wall.
The hotel gym was closed so I was forced to get up at six in the morning and go for a run out on the dusty streets.  The local population seemed to find me a most amusing sight and joined me for short stretches at a time giggling and proffering unwelcome encouragement.  I was even offered a taxi on a number of occasions and I’m sure an ambulance, before I limped back to the hotel red faced, sweaty and coughing.  The altitude was a killer here in Accra, I subsequently found out we were nearly seven feet up. 

I was invited by Staff Sergeant John Howlett at the British High Commission to go to a Quiz night on the Saturday evening so I toddled off up the road to Woolworths to get myself a semi-decent shirt.  Suffice to say we stormed to victory and celebrated appropriately. 

The Ghanaians had yet to accept the Ukrainian aircraft supplied by NATO for safety reasons as Rwanda had rejected the same aircraft last year so I was yet again in limbo.  I hired a car and driver and headed off to the High Commission to see John and to cash a cheque.  I opted for two hundred quid and got presented with three and a bit million CEDIs in denominations’ of five thousand CEDI notes shoved into a large carrier bag.  I could barely carry it past the crowds of beggars outside.  That afternoon I finally managed to get in touch with the Ghanaian Police in an attempt to find out if they would accept the aircraft as it was due to leave the Ukraine the next morning; they would send a car immediately they said which duly arrived two hours later, Police HQ must have been miles away.  Meanwhile, Rafa in Addis was going apoplectic as we needed a decision on the aircraft immediately. 

When I arrived at the Police HQ, a mere ten minute drive away, I began to gradually work my way up through the hierarchy to the Police Chief and decided to switch things around as I was getting precisely nowhere.  I told them I would pull the plug on the aircraft in the next thirty minutes if I failed to get a decision from them.  This seemed to have an immediate effect and we got the Director of Civil Aviation to agree to give the go ahead when he had seen the Certificate of Air Worthiness I had forged only that morning. 

I had two of the jolliest Policemen ever as my Liaisons and we jumped into a pickup to head for the Civil Aviation Authority Offices.  When we got to the gate of the HQ, they decided we needed something with more impact so they commandeered a passing police van and sirens blaring and lights flashing we screamed through Accra.  I got dropped off at the hotel on the way which was a real blow as I was having a great old time.

The next day and I still had nothing in writing from anybody and confusion was reigning supreme over the shaky phone lines but I decided to authorise the launch of the Ukrainian aircraft anyway, If it worked....fine...otherwise I would be toast.  The next task was to finalise the working arrangements for that night with Francis, one of the laughing Policemen.  As far as I was concerned it was a case of at last having a job to do, and then…off to Dakar to meet up with my evil twin, young Terry.
On an RAF task in Norway, I recall my Flight Sergeant, Ray Beastall, struggling wonderfully with a bad phone line.  A Marine had arrived at the airhead with what looked like a pair of antlers from a reindeer with most of the top of the skull still attached and blood dripping onto our floor.  He wanted to know if he could take it back to the UK with him.  Ray being a stickler for detail wanted to check, so began calling round various agencies at home to find out.  He eventually reached the relevant person in Customs at Heathrow although the line was atrocious.  Ray introduced himself and the conversation went like this. 
“How can I help?”
“I have a man here who wants to bring a pair of antlers back to the UK with him”.
“He has a what?”
“A pair of antlers”
“And he wants to do what?”
“He wants to bring them back to the UK with him”
“Bring what?”
“A pair of Antlers”
“I think you need immigration not customs”
“Why they aren’t alive”
“What... they’re dead?”
“Why does he want to bring a pair of dead anglers back to the UK?”
“Not anglers, antlers”
“Ohhhhhh antlers”
“Yes antlers and they still have the top of the skull attached?”
“Well sir, off the top of my head I can’t tell you”
Next month:
Episode 6: It all goes wrong for Jarvo in Accra
Hastings C.1 TG587 of 511 Squadron taxies across a dusty airfield at Amman, Jordan, during Operation Fortitude in July 1958. With a range of approximately 1,700 miles and the ability to carry up to fifty troops, the Hastings had, since its introduction in 1948, proved valuable as the RAF’s principal strategic transport. In total 100 Hastings were issued to eleven Transport Command squadrons, one Coastal Command squadron as well as the Middle East and Far East air forces. In September 1958, 511 Squadron disbanded to be reformed in December 1959 equipped with the Britannia. With the introduction of the Britannia, the RAF’s remaining Hastings assumed a tactical role until replaced by the Argosy.

Beverley C.I XB284 of 47 Squadron based at RAF Abingdon, c. 1957. At the time of its introduction in March 1956, the Beverley was the largest aircraft ever operated by the RAF. It became the backbone of RAF tactical transport during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Forty-seven were delivered, serving with 30, 47 and 53 Squadrons based at RAF Abingdon, 34 Squadron at RAF Seletar in Singapore and 84 Squadron at RAF Khormaksar in Aden. For its size, it had a remarkable short takeoff and landing capability, which proved useful when operating during the campaigns in Borneo and Aden. Air drops could be made from the rear of the fuselage, for which the doors were removed pre-flight, while parachute troops could also be dropped from a hatch in the tail boom. XB284 was transferred to 84 Squadron in July 1967. In September 1967, all remaining Beverleys, including XB284, were retired and struck off charge.
Officer Commanding 216 Squadron at RAF Lyneham, Wing Commander W. I. Harris AFC, and the flight-engineer of Comet C.2 XK697 ‘Cygnus’, are seen in discussion in March 1957. Introduced in June 1956, by November Comets of 216 Squadron were running monthly services to Aden and Singapore. That year, the squadron also moved troops to Malta and Cyprus in response to the Suez Crisis and the Cyprus Emergency. From 1962, the larger Comet C.4 was able to carry ninety-four passengers to Singapore in twenty-four hours, a significant  improvement on the C.2. The Comet was often noted for its comfort. From Flight magazine in 1956: ‘Upfront the interior noise was mechanical, reminiscent of a power station. Aft the noise was all jet, but neither factor prevented the Comet being synonymous with comfort. In 1967, XK697 was transferred to 51 Squadron of Signals Command to undertake Electrical Intelligence (ELINT) work.
The first Britannia C.I in RAF service, XL636 ‘Argo’ of 99 Squadron is seen during a flight from its base at RAF Lyneham, soon after delivery on 4 June 1959. Between June 1959 and December 1960, twenty Britannia C.Is were delivered to 99 and 511 Squadrons, later joined by three C.2s, which along with the ten Comets of 216 Squadron formed the RAF’s strategic transport force during the early 1960s. The Britannia had a top speed of 400mph, a range of 5,000 miles, and could carry over 100 troops or 16 tons (36,000lb) of cargo. Frequently used for aeromedical evacuation, it could also be equipped to hold fifty-three stretchers with six medical attendants.
Twin Pioneer CC.I XM961 of 21 Squadron based at RAF Eastleigh, Nairobi, overflies an RAF Regiment command post in the Kenyan bush, 1961. The Twin Pioneer was used for colonial policing and humanitarian operations, including in Aden, Kenya, Malaya and Borneo. It was able to carry cargo or sixteen passengers internally, or an externally slung cargo load. For policing duties, it could also be armed with Browning guns and door-mounted Bren guns and carry a small number of light bombs. With a short take-off and landing capability, the ‘Twin Pin’ was ideal for resupplying troops at forward airstrips. Thirty-nine Twin Pioneers were in service with six RAF squadrons. The last Twin Pioneer squadron, 209 Squadron, disbanded at RAF Seletar Singapore in December 1968.
Argosy C.1 XN849 of the Argosy Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Benson, January 1962. Having been operated by the OCU since November 1961, from March 1962, fifty-six Argosies were delivered to six RAF squadrons, operating in the UK and overseas in the medium-lift transport role. The Argosy’s high twin tail boom and clam-shell rear doors gave air quartermasters the ability to rapidly load vehicles and freight. Unlike the Beverley the Argosy’s rear doors could be opened electronically during flight to enable airdrops. Parachute troops could also be dropped from side doors in the fuselage. Argosy E.1s, were supplied as radar calibration aircraft to 115 Squadron within 90 (Signals) Group at RAF Brize Norton. XN849 later served with 114 Squadron at Benson and 105 Squadron in Aden. In May 1970, it passed to 5 Maintenance Unit at Kemble and was struck off charge.
Whirlwind HAR.10 XJ726 of RAF Khormaksar’s search and rescue flight picks up a cargo net of supplies from Thumeir airfield, Aden, during theRadfan campaign, in May 1964. During the Malayan Emergency, 194 Squadron had shown the potential of helicopters for providing troop and supply lift, but were often hampered by reliability and performance. The third version of the Whirlwind, the HAR.10 introduced in November 1961, was an improvement on earlier versions, having a turbine engine that gave a more power and was better suited for tropical  conditions, serving successfully in many overseas squadrons, particularly within the Far East. It also served with 22, 202 and 228 Squadrons within Coastal Command on search and rescue duties. HAR.10s replaced Bristol Sycamores within Khormaksar’s search and rescue flight in March 1964. During the Radfan campaign, the flight provided a valuable service ferrying supplies and personnel from Khormaksar to remote airstrips such as Thumeir.
Local children watch as Belvedere HC.1XG453 of 66 Squadron takes off from Krokong, Sarawak after it had transported a group of Ghurkhas to their remote village during the Indonesian Confrontation, 1964. The Belvedere provided a medium-to-heavy helicopter lift capability supplementing the lighter Whirlwind and Wessex. It carried up to eighteen fully equipped troops, over 5,000lb of underslung cargo or 6,000lb internally The Belvedere was widely used by 26 Squadron in Aden, but when used by 66 Squadron for service in Borneo, it suffered regular mechanical troubles and developed a reputation for unreliability and poor performance. XG453 caught fire during engine start at RAF Seleter in March 1969. In that same month the Squadron disbanded and the Belvedere was retired.
C10 C.1 XR808 ‘Kenneth Campbell VC’ of 10 Squadron at RAF Kai Tak following ‘Flight 2300’, the first scheduled troop service to Hong Kong from RAF Brize Norton on 4 April 1967. XR808 was the first of fourteen VC 10s to enter RAF service, arriving on 7 July 1966. Modifications made to the airliner before it entered RAF service included a side-loading freight door, a strengthened floor, a refuelling probe and backwards-facing seats. From the early 1980s, further VC10s were acquired to act in the air-to-air refuelling role to support and then replace the Victor, which had undertaken this role since 1965. In the early 1990s, to supplement this fleet, the remaining thirteen VC 10 C.1s were converted to enable a refuelling capability when it was needed. XR808 was converted to C.1K standard in October 1996. It finally retired on 29 July 2013, after forty-seven years of service.
Hercules C.I XV194 of 36 Squadron, Air Support Command, is seen during a flight from its base at RAF Lyneham in August 1967. The Hercules was first introduced to RAF service with 232 OCU at RAF Thorney Island in April 1967, with 36 Squadron at Lyneham became the first operational unit. Though purchased as a tactical transport, the Hercules also proved to be capable at strategic movements. By mid-1968, sixty-six aircraft were serving in four squadrons within the UK and one squadron at RAF Changi, Singapore. After just five years’ service, XV194 was written off during a crash-landing at Tromsø, Norway in 1972.
RAF Transport Aircraft During the Cold War
Operation HOHOHO 2020
Operation HOHOHO 2020 concluded with 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron giving Santa a lift to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. A Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffon helicopter picked up Santa at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton and flew him to the hospital helipad, a magical journey followed by the young patients and their families via live stream. To ensure the event’s safe execution and compliance with public health measures, Santa was unable to visit the children this year. Toy donations from 408 squadron were delivered to the Stollery Children’s Hospital ahead of time to allow for a two-week quarantine period and safe distribution by hospital staff members.

Operation HOHOHO  is an annual event first launched by 400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in 2005. The aim of Operation HOHOHO is to raise spirits and give back to the community by flying to a local hospital to deliver gifts and connect with the young patients and their families during the holiday season. 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron is proud to make this event an annual tradition since 2018.

And last, but not least, a request from one of our Canadian brethren:
From: Jacques LeClerc, St-Alexandre de Kamouraska, QC
Subject: Request for stickers

Hello Tony,

As you know, I was a Traffic Tech for 31 yrs and 9 months and now I am a woodworker.  I have a little project that I would like to get going.  In my shop I have many cabinets and would like to cover all of them with Air Force stickers, and it does not matter what Air Force, could be of UK, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand or USA origin, as long as it has to do with Military aviation.

It could be a sticker of a manufacturer of planes or engines, individual squadrons or stations.  Anyway, you know what I mean, and your platform UKMAMS OBA is the perfect place to send a message out with my request. 

I am willing to pay for the sticker plus the shipping. Is it possible for you to post it in your forum reference to my request?

Merci, stay save.  Jacques L
(There is a link to Jacques' e-mail address in the flags above)
Tony Gale